Cable Show 2010: Cable Gives Interactive TV Consumer-Friendly Name: SelecTV

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Complete coverage of Cable Show 2010 from Multichannel News and B&C.

Several cable groups, led by Canoe Ventures, have teamed up to promote "SelecTV" as the consumer-facing brand of the industry's interactive TV technology and services.

The SelecTV brand will appear on-screen as a signal to viewers to indicate the availability of interactive television content. Up to now, the industry has been using the tech-inflected moniker of Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format, or EBIF, to refer to the interactive platform being widely deployed by MSOs.

The SelecTV brand will be managed by Canoe Ventures and licensed for use by certified cable providers, their programming partners and advertisers, the groups said Monday. More information is available at www.selectv.net.

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SelecTV is an industry-wide brand initiative led by Canoe Ventures, the joint venture of the six biggest U.S. cable operators, in conjunction with the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), CableLabs, the six MSOs -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks -- and national programming and advertising partners.

"Working together, cable is introducing innovative ITV applications across the country with unprecedented scale this year. Canoe spearheading SelecTV on behalf of the industry has resulted in cable taking an important step towards delivering national ITV capabilities with one common face for the viewer," Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke said in a statement. "Our industry's growing ITV capabilities enable content providers to engage with consumers in ways that are meaningful to them. With SelecTV, we are introducing a brand that reflects the value of what we deliver."

Canoe chief marketing officer Vicki Lins said, "Canoe's mission is to advance the digital TV business. Just as we're driving standardization of technologies to help scale a truly national ITV platform, we're leading the effort to promote wider adoption of our applications on top of this platform by ensuring a flexible yet consistent, quality user experience represented by the SelecTV brand."

CTAM president and CEO Char Beales commented, "The process behind the development of the SelecTV brand is an example of how the cable industry collaborates to provide the best customer entertainment experience. From its conception in CTAM's Advanced Cable Solutions Consortium, through our Branding Committee's involvement in the name and identity, members contributed to this industry effort. Together we learned from Cablevision's successful launch of their Optimum Select brand which informed our choice of the simple and intuitive SelecTV."

"We hope that SelecTV will come to signal for viewers the value of interactive television content, and therefore, encourage more viewer participation with ITV. Being brand stewards themselves, advertisers and agencies are gratified by the news that, with the introduction of SelecTV, there will be one uniform branded identity that will signal interactivity and draw attention to advanced advertising applications on TV. Simplicity, consistency and ease-of-use are the 'must' attributes we hear most often from advertisers about what should induce a healthy volume of trial on the next TV ad platform," said CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham.

"CableLabs has been working to extend EBIF as a common technology platform to support interactive television across the cable industry, and the SelecTV brand provides a simple way for consumers to recognize the interactive cable services enabled by that platform," said Paul Liao, CableLabs president and CEO.

Two major advertising industry associations also threw their support behind SelecTV.

"Interactive television is a valuable marketing medium," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers. "TV has always been a great branding vehicle, and now ITV provides measurable engagement for marketers. Introducing SelecTV can add even more value for them by encouraging viewer participation with their brands."

"The promise of ITV has been around for almost 20 years. We finally have the opportunity to engage consumers with brands and content in ways that are meaningful to both the advertiser AND the consumer. We applaud the cable industry for working together to develop SelecTV, a unified identity for simple interactivity, that will aid consumer awareness and add advertiser value," said Nancy Hill President and CEO the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

"We applaud the progress made so far by industry stakeholders to enable the launch of the SelecTV brand and look forward to this effort producing innovative tools for consumers," National Cable & Telecommunications Association president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow said.

Canoe said it is working with cable companies, programmers and industry organizations on implementation guidelines, processes and solutions to establish ubiquity and standardization, while at the same time maintaining flexibility for how viewers experience ITV.

The SelecTV branding effort is similar to the industry's adoption of "Tru2way" as the consumer brand of the OpenCable Application Platform.

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