Technology

Satellite Operators Team on Advanced Ads

DirecTV, Dish launch dedicated channel for long-form spots 4/26/2010 02:22:00 PM Eastern

Pay-TV
satellite operators DirecTV and Dish Network announced Monday (April 26) that
they are partnering to create a new dedicated channel, called the Advanced
Satellite Advertising Platform (ASAP), that will run long-form spots such as
infomercials with interactive features accessible through subscribers' remote
controls.

ASAP
will feature the same programming on both services and will reach nearly 30
million U.S.
households, appearing as Ch. 99 on Dish and Ch. 115 on DirecTV. It will give
advertisers the opportunity to air long-form advertorial content on a national
basis with interactive opportunities including additional product information,
photo galleries, simple gaming, regional locators and requests-for-information
(RFIs). RFIs generally allow subscribers to enter a sweepstakes or request a
product sample, informational brochure or coupon.

DirecTV
and Dish say that ASAP will be fully measured by third-party research services
and that advertisers will receive in-depth post-report metrics upon the
completion of a campaign.

"Separately,
our satellite companies already bring advanced media functionality to every DMA
in the country; together, we bring the scale, ease of use and analytics that we
believe will power interactive TV into the mainstream among clients," said
Michael Finn, VP of advertising sales for Dish Network, in a statement.

"Both
DirecTV and Dish Network have offered advertisers a proven and mature
interactive platform that dates back to 2004," added Bob Riordan, senior VP
of advertising sales for DirecTV.  "Our
combined advanced television efforts will bring the marketplace unmatched
expertise and an unrivaled nationally scaled experience."

Bob Riordan, senior VP, advertising sales at DirecTV, said: "What's really driving us is getting revenue back into TV from the internet and not really raiding the coffers of broadcast or cable."

Riordan said the effort to provide scale to national advertisers was aimed at persuading, "national advertisers to return to the advertising marketplaces by bringing scale." He said he was excited about what Canoe was doing. Canoe is the joint venture of six top cable operators who are also attempting to bring scale to interactive TV.

Beyond scale, Riordan said the joint venture with Dish would also create efficiencies so a marketer would only have to create one ad to one set of specifications rather than a profusion of versions. Customers will be pushed towards the new interactive channel by a marketing campaign that includes 30-second commercials on both services as well as home page promotions. The idea is to have exclusive video to attract viewers who may then sit through a two to five minute ad as opposed to a 30-second spot. They'll also be able to request information.

DirecTV started interactive advertising with three advertisers six years ago and had grown its business to around 60 advertisers in 2009. Riordan said the interactive TV business was worth "tens of millions." That figure is expected to grow as marketers seek more internet-like metrics from their television buys. Procter & Gamble, Chrysler, Lexus and Bank of America were among the initial interactive advertisers.

March