Comcast Media Center Offers C3 For VOD

AMC is first cable net to use new service

Comcast Media Center (CMC), the cable giant’s technical hub in Denver which currently delivers over 9,000 video-on-demand (VOD) assets from 275 content providers per month to some 30 million VOD-capable homes, says it will now offer a VOD service that incorporates Nielsen’s “C3” metric for time-shifted programming.

AMC and two other unnamed cable networks will use the new “C3 VOD” service, which provides ratings that measure the average commercial minutes in programs that were viewed live and time-shifted through video-on-demand or DVR playback in the three days following a linear broadcast.

The service uses CMC’s robust ingest, encoding and transport capabilities to acquire linear TV programs during their original broadcast, provide real-time encoding of the program, including the original advertising, and incorporate the profiles for C3 commercial ratings provided by Nielsen. The VOD-encoded programs are then delivered to local cable systems for time-shifted viewing within hours of the original broadcast.

The CMC will also replace original advertising containing Nielsen profile data at the discretion of participating television programming networks and their cable affiliates.

“Buyers and sellers of television advertising need clear information on how consumers watch time-shifted television,” said Nielsen SVP Scott L. Brown in a statement. “Nielsen has measured VOD since 2006, and we’re thrilled that Comcast Media Center has joined the effort to provide the media and advertising community with what it requires.”

In a related initiative, CMC also announced that Comcast advertising arm Comcast Spotlight will offer a variety of cross-platform marketing opportunities to television programmers wishing to promote their VOD fare, including banner ads on iGuide, the Comcast/Macrovision interactive program guide. The banner ads on iGuide provide immediate access to VOD programming by letting viewers “telescope” directly to VOD selections with a click of their remote controls.

Additional “tune-in” spots will also be available on linear channels promoting awareness of the VOD programs.

“Nielsen’s affirmation of our ability to help support its on-demand audience measurement systems is a tremendous benefit for our content services customers and cable MSO affiliates,” said Gary Traver, SVP and COO of the Comcast Media Center, in a statement. “By demonstrating the value of advertising that accompanies VOD programming, television networks and other content providers can measure the value of their investment in on-demand television programming. Moreover, these audience measurement tools will complement the ability of ETV [enhanced TV] applications and promotional capabilities, including the services that Comcast Spotlight is providing, to help drive additional audience demand for linear shows that are also available in local VOD libraries.”