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Canoe Rows Ahead With Fewer Oars

8/26/2013 12:00 AM Eastern

Canoe has gone through many changes during its turbulent five-year history. Here’s a notable one that happened quietly, back before the advanced-advertising joint venture abandoned interactive advertising in favor of a focus on dynamic ad insertion for video on demand: Cablevision Systems and Charter Communications dropped out.

Chris Pizzurro, head of sales and marketing at Canoe, confirmed the MSOs had long departed, and that the JV now has four original members still on board: Comcast, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable.

Still, Pizzurro said Canoe would be happy to work with Charter and Cablevision, as the door is not shut. Canoe continues to speak with both MSOs about other ways to work together. “It’s not like they can’t participate. We would actually welcome non-members, as far as cable operators.”

Cablevision and Charter both said they encourage what Canoe is doing, but have not indicated if they’ll ride along in its wake anytime soon.

“While we are no longer actively participating in any of Canoe Ventures’ initiatives, we embrace industry eff orts, including those of Canoe, to bring national scale and new capabilities to television advertising,” Cablevision said in a statement.

“Charter is supportive of [Canoe’s] mission but not engaged in any work or projects with [the company],” the MSO told FierceCable, which reported the reduction in Canoe’s membership.

Meanwhile, Canoe is pushing ahead. Its DAI VOD platform is now in front of more than 28 million households, all due to deployments with Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Cox and Bright House are preparing to join the mix and support Canoe campaigns, but their participation is still a work in progress.

Canoe is also looking to expand its roster of programming group partners that are running VOD ad campaigns on its platform. NBC Universal, Fox, FearNet, and Scripps Networks are already on board, with about 40 individual networks running campaigns.

Canoe will add another three or four programming groups by September or October, Pizzurro said. Canoe’s transformation into a VOD-focused outfit got underway in February 2012, when the joint venture shut down its interactive TV operations and its New York office, and laid off 120 employees.

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