Cable Show 2011: Comcast Spotlight Clicks On Ensequence For EBIF

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Comcast Spotlight, the cable operator's local-advertising sales arm, is using Ensequence's iTV Manager Service Provider Edition to enable the ongoing rollout of local EBIF-based interactive TV advertising units.

Comcast Spotlight's interactive TV advertising solutions, geared around CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format specification, include: request for information (RFI), which lets viewers request product samples, coupons, brochures or other materials by clicking on a screen prompt; "remind record," which sets an on-screen reminder or DVR recording for an upcoming program featured in an ad; and VOD telescoping, lets viewers click on a 30-second ad to watch a long-form video-on-demand segment about their product or service or to "bookmark" it to watch later.

Over the past two years, Comcast Spotlight has delivered hundreds of campaigns and more than 1.5 million interactions, according to the company. The ad division has a presence in nearly 90 markets with approximately 30 million subscribers, via Comcast Cable as well as other providers that Spotlight reps, including Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse TV.

"The flexibility and ease in scaling that the Ensequence solution offers will be an important part of the next phase of our interactive advertising rollout, and we're looking forward to working with the Ensequence team," Comcast Spotlight senior vice president of operations and strategic planning Steve Feingold said in a statement.

Ensequence's iTV Manager for service providers provides EBIF application template creation and re-versioning, scheduling and playout. The system lets operators customize application graphics, application behavior, layouts and messaging based on an advertiser's requirements -- without the need to recertify the application, according to Ensequence.

"Comcast Spotlight has been a leader in the introduction of local interactive TV advertising, enhancing viewers' experiences and making it easier for advertisers to make television an even more powerful marketing platform. iTV Manager's functionality will bring added value to advertisers using the iTV platform," Ensequence president and CEO Peter Low said.

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