MIPTV: Sony Premiering International App for 'Hannibal'

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen stars as Hannibal Lecter in NBC's new drama.

In a first for many territories, viewers in 63 countries will be able watch the new NBC drama on multiple platforms simultaneously.

CANNES - Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) is rolling out a a new second screen viewing app for its international network of pay-TV channels to accompany the global launch of Hannibal, the new serial killer drama starring Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen, which bowed on NBC last Thursday.

SPT co-produced the series, a prequel to Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels, together with Gaumont International Television and it will air the show on its branded pay-TV networks in 63 countries worldwide.

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For the global launch of Hannibal later this month, SPT will premiere a Hannibal app, available on iTunes, that will provide local viewers with exclusive non-broadcast content for mobile phones and tablets, including behind-the-scenes footage and social media elements such as a hosted online Hannibal community.

The app will go out in several foreign languages to accompany the series' bow across Latin America, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and pan-Asia.

For many territories, Hannibal will be the first second screen app for a scripted TV series. The move by Sony is part of a broader embrace of time-shifted viewing by international broadcasters, who increasingly see DVR and VOD platforms less as a threat to their primary broadcast than an opportunity to increase a show's overall audience and build critical buzz. SPT's Hannibal app will synchronise to each episode as it airs live.

REVIEW: Hannibal

Given the show's dark subject matter and outside-the-mainstream, cable-style story telling, building a slavishly dedicated fan base will be key to Hannibal's long-term future. The show premiered to a decent, thought not exceptional, 1.6 rating on NBC last Thursday.