OpenTV Offically Woos Woidke From Comcast Spotlight

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OpenTV officially announced that it has hired Comcast Spotlight senior vice president of technology Paul Woidke, who will join the interactive TV firm in mid-May as head of its advanced advertising business.

“Paul’s vast knowledge of the cable and advertising industry will be instrumental in developing our advanced advertising business not only here in the U.S., but also around the world,” OpenTV CEO Ben Bennett said in a prepared statement. “Paul will be a wonderful addition to OpenTV’s executive management team and we look forward to having him on board.”

As senior vice president and general manager of OpenTV’s Advanced Advertising group, Woidke will be tasked with “evolving” the business both in the United States and abroad, according to the company. Word leaked out late Friday about Woidke’s impending move to San Francisco-based OpenTV.

“While I have had a tremendous time during my tenure at Comcast Spotlight, OpenTV offers a whole new scale of opportunity,” Woidke said in a statement. “Its worldwide reach, broadly deployed products, and advanced technology create tremendous synergy for taking advanced advertising to another level, and I am delighted to be a part of those initiatives.”

Before joining Comcast Spotlight in 2002, Woidke was senior VP and chief technology officer for Adlink, the cable interconnect system that provides centralized ad sales across 44 cable networks in the Los Angeles area.

 At Comcast Spotlight, Woidke worked with the company's technology teams and industry partners to develop advanced advertising capabilities and technology standards. Comcast credits Woidke with designing the Adtag and Adcopy infrastructure, targeted TV advertising products first used by Adlink and licensed by Comcast Spotlight.

OpenTV OpenTV claims more than 100 million digital set-top boxes and televisions with its interactive technology have been deployed worldwide since 1997

The OpenTV platform has been licensed to 56 network operators and 44 set-top box manufacturers, including News Corp., EchoStar, Liberty Global, Pace Micro Technology and STMicroelectronics. The firm is controlled by Swiss software company Kudelski Group.

Comcast Spotlight is using OpenTV's SpotOn targeted-advertising system, which switches video ads to aggregated groups of set-top boxes based on demographic data, in a technical trial in Huntsville, Ala.

The trial began in December 2006 in partnership with media agency network Starcom MediaVest Group. The OpenTV system has delivered "thousands" of ads across eight cable networks from marketers including General Motors, Discover Card, Miller Brewing Company and Procter & Gamble.

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