Mark Burnett Signs on With Young Interactive-TV Company

Mark Burnett - Summer TCA Tour - H - 2011
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The reality TV producer will use ACTV8.ME to make his shows more social and to reward viewers for watching them.

A start-up technolgy company with a new interactive-television product has landed an influential new customer: Mark Burnett.

The reality TV guru behind hits like Survivor and Shark Tank said Tuesday he has enlisted ACTV8.ME to create a tool that owners of IOS devices like iPhones and iPads, as well as Android devices, can use to make his shows more interactive, social and immersive.

ACTV8.ME CEO Brian Shuster said the product will launch in the first quarter of next year for one of Burnett's shows, as well as two other network shows unrelated to Burnett. A few more Burnett shows will follow, though Shuster wouldn't divulge titles.

Shuster said viewers will be able to use their mobile devices for polling, trivia questions and behind-the-scenes video. They'll earn points that can be used to purchase something as small as a $5 gift card to Starbucks to as big as an Xbox video game console. The ACTV8.ME product also allows advertisers to deliver special coupons to its users.

The application also integrates Twitter and Facebook, "So you never have to leave the platform to tweet," Shuster said.

ACTV8.ME's business model includes charging a show an activation fee for embedding and customizing its technology, plus collecting redemption fees from advertisers and selling merchandise that reflects the lifestyles of the various shows with which it partners.

Burnett, said Shuster, "has seen virtually every second-screen application out there. He did his due diligence, and he became enamored of us."

Shuster founded ACTV8.ME three years ago and he is in the midst of raising venture capital from parties he would not disclose.