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Comcast, TWC Wave Interactive TV Flag

4/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

New York — Canoe Ventures may have
mothballed its interactive-TV ad efforts, but
Comcast and Time Warner Cable remain
firmly committed to using cable’s ITV technologies
not only for advertising but also to boost
viewer engagement with shows.

Comcast is running applications
based on Cable-
Labs’ Enhanced TV Binary
Interchange Format in more
than 15 million homes in
50 markets, Mike Ortman,
Comcast vice president of
content strategy and operations
for video services, said.
That will increase to about
18 million households in the
next few months as the MSO activates EBIF in
its Cisco Systems markets, he said.

“This isn’t the future ... this isn’t a guess,”
Ortman said, speaking on a panel at the “Cable
Interacts: Crossroads for Innovation” conference
last week at the Time Warner Center.

Comcast is developing a “Smart App” EBIF
template for programmers that will let them
more easily deliver interactive
apps to the MSO’s
subscribers, across both
low-end set-tops like the
Motorola DCT 2000 and
higher-end boxes.

Time Warner Cable, for
its part, now has EBIF running
on 10 million set-tops,
representing 7.5 million
homes. The operator is selling
ITV ads in 30 markets, and has 50 of its
52 markets “lit up from a technical point of
view,” TWC Media Sales senior vice president
of operations Chris Faw said. The two markets
pending full EBIF support are Dallas and Los
Angeles.

“We realize there are second screens …
[and] we want to be part of that second-screen
activity,” Faw said. “But we still look at basic
TV as what we are building on.”

In February, ITV took a hit when Canoe —
cable’s advanced-advertising venture — announced
it was discontinuing its national
interactive-TV operations to focus solely on
dynamic advertising insertion for video-ondemand.

Asked by panel moderator Craig Leddy
whether the concept of national ITV ads was
alive or dead, Lauder Partners managing partner
Gary Lauder responded that it has “not yet
fully been born.”

September