NBA Taps TiVo for Interactive TV Advertising, Audience Measurement

DVR vendor/service provider, TiVo, announced Thursday that it has signed a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) that sees the latter using TiVo's interactive TV advertising solutions to promote the NBA finals. Since the beginning of the week, TiVo has been carrying a "TiVo Showcase" ad for the NBA finals that offers video and other promotional content, and also allows "one-click recording" of upcoming games; as well as ads on the TiVo Central menu, and ads that appear on the TiVo service's "pause" and "delete" screens. The NBA is the first professional sports league to use TiVo's ITV advertising platform.

The deal will also see the NBA using TiVo's StopWatch ratings service (collects anonymous second-by-second audience research data from TiVo boxes and is slated to increase its sample size from 100,000 to 300,000 by the fall--see article posted on itvt.com, April 1st) to evaluate viewership of NBA primetime games, as well as the commercials aired during those games, for the entire 2008-09 NBA season. "We are impressed with the power and impact of TiVo's interactive advertising solutions and audience research," Mark Tatum, the NBA's EVP of marketing partnerships, said in a prepared statement. "This is a great tool for us to further promote The Finals and show advertisers the advantages of live NBA programming to deliver commercial audiences in the world of DVR-based viewing." Added TiVo's general manager of content services and advertising sales, Tara Maitra: "This relationship with the NBA should send a clear message to the entire media industry that, as DVR's proliferate and the way viewers consume TV evolves, even those who theoretically should be the least concerned about this new DVR environment are finding the kinds of ad and research solutions we provide to be a critical element in helping to understand and succeed in this new media paradigm. We are proud to be working with the NBA, a leader when it comes to delivering value with advertisers and viewers."

TiVo bills its "showcase" ads as "never interrupt[ing]" the viewing experience: unlike with traditional red-button iAds, the company's DVR technology allows the program the viewer was watching to be paused while s/he interacts with a dedicated advertiser location.

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