Cable Picks 'ExpandTV' As Interactive TV Brand, Drops 'SelecTV'

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The cable industry has ditched SelecTV as the consumer-facing brand name for its interactive TV technology, in favor of a new moniker: ExpandTV.

The industry-wide brand initiative is led by Canoe Ventures, the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and CableLabs, along with the six MSOs that own Canoe -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.

"The decision was made to transition to ExpandTV because it was determined that the industry was in a better position to own and defend the ExpandTV brand," Canoe vice president of marketing communications David Grabert said.

ExpandTV logo

The SelecTV name, announced in May 2010, was an initial effort to provide a more marketing-friendly term to describe the interactive TV enabled by the cable industry's Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format, or EBIF.  According to Canoe, more than 20 million cable households are EBIF-enabled among its operator members.

ExpandTV and SelecTV tested equally well among consumers, according to Grabert. Both names were conceived and tested with branding agency Siegel & Gale. But the agency's involvement in the project "ended prior to the transition from SelecTV to ExpandTV," Grabert said.

The ExpandTV logo was developed through the collaborative efforts of CTAM's advanced services committee; Canoe did the actual design work.

As was the case with SelecTV, the idea is that the ExpandTV logo will appear on-screen with an ad or a program, as a signal to viewers that the content is interactive.

Information on draft ExpandTV brand guidelines and user interface implementation guidelines is available at expandtv.com. The cable groups expect to publish an official "version 1.0" of the guidelines as well as a free licensing agreement later this summer.

Canoe filed for trademark protection on ExpandTV on Nov. 13, 2009, according to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It abandoned its claim on SelecTV on Feb. 4, 2011.

Canoe distributed information about ExpandTV last week at the 2011 Cable Show. ITVT reported on the new brand last Tuesday.

According to ExpandTV.com's frequently asked questions section, there are no plans to try to develop an "ExpandTV" button for remote controls.

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