Canoe: Not Moving the Needle In 2009

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Cable’s advanced-advertising initiative, Canoe Ventures, won’t be a “needle-moving business” in terms of revenue in 2009, Comcast COO Steve Burke said in response to an analyst’s question on today’s Q4 earnings call (see Customer Growth Slows at Comcast).

However, Burke said, “our pace of investment or excitement” with Canoe has not diminished given the state of the economy.

“Clearly there is a huge, huge business out there if you can get the interactivity that you currently get when you advertise on the Internet married with television spots,” he said.

Canoe, as executives have said previously, plans to bring out its first product this spring — “creative versioning,” which will allow national advertisers to place different spots in cable operators’ 2,700 geographic ad zones nationwide. “Two or three” other products are getting very close to launch, Burke added.

“We’re very pleased with [Canoe’s] direction,” Burke said. “It’s the type of thing I think has such a big reward that it really would not be affected by the economy or the current ad-sales environment, which as we mentioned is not good.”

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