Interactive TV Ads: Not Exactly a Slam Dunk


Nine months after DirecTV and Dish Network announced they were teaming up to jointly sell interactive advertising spots to large advertisers, the satellite duo have yet to officially clinch a buy (see DirecTV, Dish Team On Interactive Ads With ‘ASAP’).

“We’re working through a couple of deals, but nothing we’re willing to disclose publicly right now,” says a Dish spokeswoman.

The satellite guys are pitching Madison Avenue the ability to reach some 30 million homes — which, it’s worth pointing out, is a bigger footprint than cable’s Canoe Ventures, which at last count was aiming at around 20 million EBIF-enabled homes at the end of 2010 (see Comcast: T-Commerce Four Times More Effective Than Online Shopping and Canoe: Interactive Ads Are Open for Business).

The key problems with advanced TV advertising all along have been (a) it’s not how marketers are used to doing business and (b) it’s been tough to reach a large number of homes easily with interactive or addressable spots.

Would 50+ million households finally turn heads — i.e., will cable and satellite join forces?

DirecTV SVP of ad sales Bob Riordan, when the ASAP partnership was announced last year, didn’t rule it out: “We’ll work with anybody if it can help bring revenue back to TV…. We want Canoe to succeed.”

Separately, DirecTV this year is gearing up its ability to serve locally targeted ads, using Invidi Technologies, stored on subscribers’ DVRs. The satellite operator hopes to be able to offer local ads on 50 channels in 50 cities within two years, and has teamed up with SMG, which has committed to spending $10 million to $20 million through the service in 2011 (see DirecTV Enlists SMG To Sell Addressable Ads For 10 Million Subs).


Programming Note: Don’t miss Advanced Advertising 3.0, on Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 3-6 PM at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Speakers are scheduled to include: Time Warner Cable’s Joan Gillman, SMG’s John Muszynski, Canoe’s Kathy Timko, Comcast Spotlight’s Andrew Ward, Verizon FiOS’s Jason Malamud, Google TV Ads’ Aaron McNally and Ensequence’s Peter Low. For more info and to register, visit