Canoe Cruises Toward IP VOD

Also: Bright House Starts Its Rollout, Turner Nets Jump On Board (Updated)
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Canoe, the MSO-backed advanced advertising joint venture, said it’s pushing ahead on multiple fronts as it prepares to support dynamic ad insertion in VOD streams delivered over IP to the home, kicks off  a deployments with Bright House Networks, and welcomes a few networks from the Turner Broadcasting System stable.

Looking to complement its VOD ad-insertion efforts with QAM-based set-top boxes, Canoe has adapted its workflow to support IP-based VOD content that are delivered in the home to a range of IP-capable devices, including set-tops, smart TVs, gaming consoles, media players, smartphones and tablets.

The scope of Canoe’s IP project is defined by in-home delivered IP VOD and does not yet apply to authenticated, out-of-home TV Everywhere applications.

“We figure this is a logical next step” as Canoe’s MVPD partners continue to migrate more of their in-home VOD libraries to an IP format, Chris Pizzurro, Canoe’s head of product, sales and marketing, said.

He said Canoe is starting to roll out the technical capability with its operator partners, and expects to see an initial deployment by the third quarter. How and when Canoe’s new dynamic ad insertion capabilities are used will be up to Canoe’s programming and MSO partners, Pizzurro said. He noted that Canoe’s enhanced, IP-facing workflow will apply to advanced ad systems from both Black Arrow and FreeWheel, the online  ad campaign company recently acquired by Comcast.

Canoe is also pushing ahead with deployments. Following initial rollouts with Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Pizzurro confirmed that Bright House has deployed Canoe’s VOD ad platform in one market, and will be adding more in the coming weeks.

Update: Indianapolis is the first Bright House market to launch the Canoe platofrm, and "others will follow soon," a Bright House spokeswoman confirmed.

Canoe’s other MSO partner, Cox Communications is still on track to start its rollout later this year, Pizzurro said.  Notably, Cox is using IP to deliver VOD fare to its Contour tablet apps and has similar work underway to offer its on-demand library to retail-bought TiVo DVRs, also over IP.

Canoe has also expanded its slate of network partners, with TBS, TNT, CNN, TruTV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim among the latest to join the list.

Those Turner Broadcasting networks join recent additions that include CBS, several Viacom-owned channels and the VOD/digital Angry Birds Toons service. Canoe also has VOD advertising deals with ABC and ABC Family, all NBCUniversal properties, Scripps Networks, AMC, A+E Networks, and Sportskool, an independent VOD programmer.