TED Launches Open TV Project Bringing Ideas Worth Spreading to Millions More Worldwide

TED’s famous 18-minute TEDTalks — long available free on TED.com — will now be accessible on broadcast TV stations around the world through the TED Open TV Project (www.ted.com/tv), which launches today.

Announced at Web 2.0 in San Francisco, the TED Open TV Project (http://www.ted.com/tv) has already signed up dozens of broadcasters around the world, whose collective audience numbers in the hundreds of millions. Built in response to strong demand from TV station managers around the world, TED’s Open TV Project allows broadcasters to air TEDTalks for free, and encourages them to create custom programs for their communities.

“Since we first launched TEDTalks, our goal has been to distribute on all available video platforms; anywhere people watch video, we want them to watch TEDTalks. And the fact is, people everywhere still watch an awful lot of TV,” says June Cohen, Executive Producer of Media for TED. “In particular, TV is a very effective way to reach the developing world, where low internet penetration and slow connections make online video impractical. But most important, the TED Open TV Project continues TED’s guiding philosophy of radical openness.”

“TED’s focus on giving a public window to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ is a natural fit for our members, the main European broadcasters,” says Nicoletta Iacobacci, Head of ITV & Crossmedia for the European Broadcasting Union, which has signed on to the initiative for its 75 member broadcasters. “Their public-service approach is built around making the best knowledge and information available to vast audiences (our members collectively reach 650 million viewers weekly).  As the largest association of television broadcasters in the world, the EBU is pleased to be entering into this partnership with TED and to participate in facilitating and encouraging the new global conversation.”

With the Open TV Project, TED hopes to give millions more people around the world access to TEDTalks — especially in developing nations where internet access and computer ownership are low. The project will place particular focus on partnerships with TV stations in regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America where bandwidth is severely limited.

TED has already arranged to supply Open TV Project programming to TV stations in Argentina, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Sweden and the United States, among others. And TED is actively seeking broadcast partners who share its goal of spreading ideas. Content is available to TV stations starting this month.

Broadcasters agree to run TEDTalks unedited, uninterrupted and commercial-free, and are encouraged to produce original content to air alongside the TEDTalks — for instance, a local host can introduce a program of talks and lead an on-air discussion. The talks can be subtitled in local languages.

TED’s Open TV Project continues the philosophy of openness that TED has championed with TEDTalks, the TEDx event program and the Open Translation Project. Since 2006, TED has been sharing video of 18-minute TEDTalks, presented by speakers at the TED and partner events, via the web — where they have been seen more than 250 million times. Through the year-old Open Translation Project, some 4,000 volunteer translators are working on 9,000 translations of TEDTalks into 77 languages. The TEDx program encourages the spread of ideas through independent, self-organized gatherings that have so far taken place in more than 70 countries in 30 languages.

See http://www.ted.com/tv for more broadcast specifications and a full list of TV stations carrying TEDTalks programming.