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What Is Viggle On DIRECTV?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I keep seeing these commercials on DIRECTV for Viggle. It's supposed to give you prizes and other stuff for just watching TV. What exactly is Viggle and is it worth my time? -- David, San Diego, California.

Viggle is a social media service that offers rewards such as gift certificates for watching TV shows; it can be used by downloading the Viggle app on your smart phone or tablet.

And while DIRECTV heavily promotes Viggle in commercials shown only to its audience, you can use it if you subscribe to other TV providers as well. (DIRECTV, however, does offer 5,000 bonus points if you sign up for Viggle using your DIRECTV e-mail account, password and the code word, "DIRECTV".)

Here's how  Viggle works:

When you are watching a show, you click on your Viggle app and "check-in." The Viggle software will pick up the audio of your program and award one point for every minute you watch the show.

According to Viggle, it will reward points for watching the entire show as soon as it verifies the program's audio from your television. You don't have to keep the app open for the entire show. A 30-minute show will get you 30 points and a 60-minute show will get you 60 points. (Certain shows offer bonus points.) Viggle only works with shows 60 minutes or less, but it will work for both live and recorded programs.

Note: If the audio verification fails three times, Viggle says you can check-in manually and get your points. But you can only use the manual feature if the show is still on the air.

You can also use Viggle to chat with other viewers, but, of course, the real come-on is the points and what you can do with them.

Well, I have to tell you that unless you are a frequent -- and I mean, frequent -- TV watcher, it may take awhile to accumulate enough points to capture a decent reward. For example, a $25 McDonald's Arch Card certificate will cost you 62,500 points. A $5.99 DIRECTV movie certificate will cost you 9,000 points. And that Royal Caribbean cruise that DIRECTV talks about in its Viggle commercials? That will cost you 4 million points.

So if you like to engage in social media while watching TV, Viggle can be a fun and mildly (very mildly) rewarding experience. But if you're going for the cruise, you might want to quit your job and start watching TV 24 hours a day.

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