The iTV Doctor

The iTV Doctor is InThe iTV Doctor is Rick Howe, who provides interactive television consulting services to programmers and advertisers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was nominated to Cable Pioneers. He is also the co-author of a patent for the use of multiscreen mosaics in EPG's. Endorsed by top cable and satellite distributors, "Dr" Howe still makes house calls, and the first visit is always free. His services include product development, distribution strategy and the development of low-cost interactive applications for rapid deployment across all platforms.

Questions: itvdoctor@itvt.com
@rickhowe

May 03, 2016
By Rick Howe   Dear Readers:     This is a terrific time to be in the TV business, isn't it? We're growing, consolidating, innovating and finding new ways to serve the viewers every single day.   But first, a bit of shameless self-promotion: if you are at INTX, you might stop by "Imagine Park" at noon on Tuesday 5/17; the topic is "Project Quantico," as we wrote about recently.   And it would... more
April 12, 2016
iTVDoctor
BY RICK HOWE     Dear Readers:      I was chatting over breakfast with a friend not long ago, and he was bemoaning the fact that our current TV Everywhere advertising model just annoyed him. The night before he was on the train, catching up on ABC's "Quantico" on his phone; an older episode--four or five weeks maybe. And it was loaded with the standard selection of ads that were locked into the... more
April 04, 2016
iTVDoctor2016
Dear Readers:     As we get closer to the Tenth Anniversary TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) conference in San Francisco (June 7/8 2016), we have a terrific guest column from Patrick Donoghue, the industry wunderkind who altered television forever with his work at Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. Patrick is now making his services available to the entire industry through Next Stop Willoughby Inc. which he... more
October 26, 2015
  (Note: The deadline for purchasing discount tickets to TVOT NYC 2015--representing a $200 savings on the full ticket price--is midnight, Saturday October 31st. Buy your discount tickets here!)         Dear Readers:     For a recent workshop that I ran for a client, I invited some real honest-to-God "Millennials." I wanted to give the group a reality check for what lay ahead.   Because--and... more
October 19, 2015
Dear Readers:    I was chatting with a senior exec at one of the OTT platforms recently while Hurricane Joaquin was winding its way up the Eastern Seaboard. And the Hurricane threat was only part of the problem; two major storms were stalled over most of the East Coast because Joaquin was keeping them from moving out to sea. As a result, most of South Carolina spent the week underwater... more
September 01, 2015
Dear Readers:   In 1974 I was working as a rookie marketing manager in one of Monty Rifkin's ATC systems--All American Cablevision in Columbus, Ohio. I had the brainstorm of matching rudimentary census tract information to subscriber accounts by using the unused "check digit" at the end of the account number. Cable Data (remember them?) added that number randomly, but ATC wasn't using it. So,... more
July 28, 2015
Dear Readers:     The television and entertainment industry is flush with news and opinion stories appearing daily, often hourly, on OTT and its impact on the business.   Today I'm going to dispense with the Over The Top (OTT) label and call it for what it really is: Television.   Witness some of the recent announcements and trends:   1) A+E Networks has introduced a Lifetime... more
June 09, 2015
  Dear Readers:    At TVOT 2014 San Francisco, we had an all-star cast of panelists at our Virtual MSO panel: Sherry Brennan from Fox Networks; Mick Darling from Tomorrowish; Paul Johnson from MPP Global; Adam Lowy from Dish Network; Tom Morgan from Net2TV; Eric Fitzgerald Reed from Verizon; and Eduard Zaslavsky from WebTuner    During that June, 2014 session, I described a... more
May 13, 2015
Dear Readers:    At TVOT 2014 San Francisco, we had an all-star cast of panelists at our Virtual MSO panel: Sherry Brennan from Fox Networks; Mick Darling from Tomorrowish; Paul Johnson from MPP Global; Adam Lowy from Dish Network; Tom Morgan from Net2TV; Eric Fitzgerald Reed from Verizon; and Eduard Zaslavsky from WebTuner    During that June, 2014 session, I described a scenario for... more
April 06, 2015
Dear iTV Doctor:   I need your help. I'm watching my competitors launch direct-to-consumer channels online. I have a library of content just sitting around gathering dust. And my ad revenues are shrinking as viewers are cutting the cords with my distribution partners. The old business models just don't work anymore.   Lagging in Los Angeles.     Dear Lagging:   You are not... more
March 16, 2015
Dear Readers: I was talking to a senior programming exec. from one of the network families the other day, and he was bemoaning the disconnect between his enormous library of content, and his ability to monetize it. He said, "I'm like an independent farmer--land rich and cash poor. I have a gigantic library of content, and the only way I can make money is to license it through the cable and... more
February 23, 2015
Dear Readers:   In the annals of Interactive Television Aspirations, three user experiences always come up: Jennifer Aniston's Sweater, Pizza and Travel. And in the past decade, I (like many of my readers) have tried my hand at each of those.   While we are usually able to create the "front end" of the experience, whether on a first or second screen, it always falls apart at the back... more