CableLabs Issues Ad Specs For Canoe


 CableLabs has issued a set of four specifications for managing advanced-advertising campaigns executed through Canoe Ventures across multiple operators.

Called the Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces (SaFI), the specifications define different attributes for interactive advertising, video-on-demand ads and advanced forms of addressable advertising. The specs are part of the Advanced Advertising 1.0 framework, which CableLabs and Canoe outlined this spring.

"These interfaces are another building block in a standard and efficient approach to building out advanced advertising capabilities for Cox's systems," said Terri Swartz, Cox Communications' director of advertising technology and a member of the MSO executive team overseeing CableLabs' advanced advertising project. "We will look for compliance with SaFI specs as a key requirement for our advanced-advertising vendors."

The SaFI interfaces are designed to allow MSOs to offer advanced ad products with consistent technologies, metrics and interfaces across a national footprint.

The four specs are:

* Service Measurement Summary Interface, which lets operators export information about the execution of a campaign;

* Interactive Fulfillment Summary Interface, which provides a way for an interactive TV application to communicate with an external system (for example, to return a request for information from an interactive ad);

* Interactive Application Messaging Platform, which provides an interface among applications distributed to more than one MSO; and

* Campaign Information Package Interface, which provides information to the MSOs on the configuration of application messaging processing, such as identifiers relevant to the messages.

CableLabs said 14 companies earlier this month demonstrated interoperability among their products based on the SaFI standards, working off an early draft version, and integrated with the SCTE 130 standards for advanced advertising.

The participating companies were Arris, BIAP, BlackArrow, Cisco Systems, Concurrent, Ensequence, Motorola, OpenTV, RGB Networks, Sigma Systems, Tandberg Television, This Technology, TVN Entertainment and UniSoft.

The SaFI specs were developed and will be maintained by a CableLabs Working Group composed of MSO, Canoe and CableLabs technical leads, with selective input from the vendor community. CableLabs provides information about the Advanced Advertising project at

The specs "represent some fairly fast-track work put together by specialists from our member MSOs, Canoe Ventures and vendor companies," CableLabs senior vice president of advanced platforms Don Dulchinos said. "Their long experience makes it possible for new capabilities around standardized reporting and fulfillment to be plugged right into technologies that support a range of advanced advertising products."

Canoe was formed last summer by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks.

The New York-based firm recently announced it would discontinue initial plans for the Community Addressable Messaging service, which was to have delivered two different ads to different groups of cable zones, based on the average income. Canoe CEO David Verklin cited various technical and business reasons for the decision.