News Round-Up (II): Comcast Spotlight, DirecTV-Wimbledon, Epix-Cox-Mediacom-Charter

--Comcast Spotlight Exec Says Interactive Remind/Record Spots Proving Successful
--DirecTV Provides Extensive Interactive TV Coverage of Wimbledon
--Epix's Authentication-Based HD Web Site Launches for Cox, Mediacom and Charter Customers

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news stories in summary/round-up form. We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers. We will resume our regular format and publishing schedule tomorrow (Tuesday).

  • Comcast and Turner Broadcasting executives revealed a couple of interesting nuggets of interactive TV news at Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Video Strategies conference in Atlanta last week. Kathleen DeBenedictis, director of product management for Comcast's ad sales arm, Comcast Spotlight, stated that interactive remind/record spots for "Project Runway" that aired on Lifetime and CBS, two days prior to that show's premiere, on Comcast's San Francisco system resulted in a 74% higher viewership for the show among Lifetime's targeted 18-to-49 demographic, compared to other top-20 markets. DeBenedictis also revealed that Comcast Spotlight has run approximately 200 paid interactive TV ad campaigns, including RFI spots as well as tune-in/reminder spots; and that the campaigns are receiving very positive ratings from viewers (for example, DeBenedictis stated, 97% of viewers surveyed said they would engage with interactive TV ads again in the future). Meanwhile, Turner Broadcasting VP of business development, Michael Quigley, revealed that Comcast is developing an EBIF-based application for CNN, which will provide access to text and photos from CNN.com, as well as to cable VOD content. Light Reading Cable's Steve Donohue has more.
  • DirecTV has been providing extensive interactive TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The coverage includes a six-screen HD Wimbledon Mix Channel (ESPN's main network broadcast plus five channels of outer-court coverage, interviews, press conferences, etc.), and a menu of features accessed through the red button, including Match Guide (scores from matches in progress and a schedule of upcoming matches), Recent Results (scores from ongoing and recent matches, as well as information on which players are getting ready to take the court), Men's Draws and Women's Draws (billed as "a complete round-by-round chart [that] will show you which players are still in it and which players are headed home"). A demo video of DirecTV's interactive TV coverage of Wimbledon is embedded above.
  • Epix, a subscription-based multiplatform (linear, VOD, online) premium programming service which is a joint venture between Viacom, its Paramount Pictures arm, MGM and Lionsgate, has announced the broad rollout of its HD Web site, EpixHD.com, which is now available to authenticated Cox and Mediacom customers, and which it says will be available to authenticated Charter customers next month. EpixHD.com is also available to authenticated Verizon FiOS TV customers.

 

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