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Panasonic flirts with irrelevance with MySpace TV partnership

At CES, the consumer electronics giant says MySpace TV will make it possible for friends to share TV watching experiences in real time. But does anyone care?

Justin Timberlake on stage at CES helping to announce MySpace TV during the Panasonic press conference.
CNET,James Martin

Just because you bring out a superstar like Justin Timberlake doesn't mean anyone is going to care about what you announce.

At the end of a long and droning CES press conference today, Panasonic tried to pull off a little Steve Jobs "One more thing" magic by announcing its partnership with and support for what's being called MySpace TV.

The logo for MySpace TV, which Panasonic announced on stage during its CES press conference today. CNET,James Martin

With rock and movie star Timberlake taking the stage to explain the service, the audience laughed at the mere mention of the MySpace name. Still, what the service--and Panasonic--is attempting is ambitious: a truly social integrated TV watching experience.

The announcement was very vague on details--including timing or pricing--but it seems that the idea is to allow users to share their experiences in real-time from wherever they may be watching TV--presumably on a Panasonic set. It's not clear exactly how it will work, but from a video that was played during the presser, it seems that the idea is to embed social-networking tools directly into the TV and give people the ability to share what they're watching and what they think of it in real time without moving away from the TV.

Still, MySpace has lost all its juice, and even Timberlake isn't going to bring that back. Panasonic, by partnering with the service, instantly lost a bit of cred. The service may turn out to be a world-beater, but that will have to be proven. An announcement on its own is not going to win anyone over.