News Round-Up (II): Canoe Ventures, Disney/ABC, Nielsen, FourthWall Media, Blue Ridge

abc - MY GENERATION - iPad App

--Canoe CTO: US Cable Industry to Focus on Interactive TV Commerce
--New Disney/ABC-Nielsen iPad App Uses Audio Watermarks to Enable Broadcast-Synchronized ITV
--FourthWall's "My Football Tracker" EBIF App Launched by Blue Ridge Communications

Due to the large volume of interactive TV-related news generated over the past few days, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up format. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • Cable operators and technology vendors are increasing their focus on tcommerce and plan to launch tcommerce trials next year, Arthur Orduna, CTO of Canoe Ventures, the company tasked with implementing the US cable industry's plans for interactive and addressable advertising, told attendees of the 24th annual NAMIC Conference last week. "It's not going to be at scale yet, but I would say 2011 is going to be a good year for testing, trialing, and probably seeing some big companies coming out of the ecommerce space and moving into the tcommerce space," Orduna stated at the event, according to a report by Light Reading Cable's Steve Donohue. Orduna also said that announcements about the cable industry's efforts to expand into tcommerce should be expected during the fourth quarter.
  • Disney/ABC Television Group has teamed with the Nielsen Company to launch the "My Generation" Sync iPad App, a two-screen interactive TV app that provides broadcast-synchronized interactive content and social TV functionality around the new ABC primetime dram, "My Generation" (premieres September 23rd). According to the companies, the app is built on Nielsen's Media-Sync platform, which is billed as enabling mobile apps to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming, using audio watermarks. "iPad users who download ABC's 'My Generation' Sync App will be able to automatically synchronize to any episode (live or time-shifted) of the series and access exclusive interactive content produced by ABC as a companion to that specific point in the episode," Disney/ABC and Nielsen state in their press materials. "Companion content will include polls, trivia, behind-the-scenes insights, production details and social networking features. The application will also allow consumers to interact with companion messages from sponsors of 'My Generation.' Nielsen's Media-Sync Platform is a complete application development and operations environment that allows TV content producers and broadcasters to deploy sync-to-broadcast mobile apps in a rapid and scalable manner. Media-Sync relies on audio watermarks that are inserted into nearly every TV program in the US to support Nielsen's industry-standard TV audience ratings service. While still inaudible to the human ear, the latest generation of watermarks can be detected and decoded through the microphone of mobile devices in a normal living room setting. The Media-Sync Platform is a product of Nielsen's joint venture with Digimarc Corporation, a leading provider of media identification solutions." A demo video of the new iPad app is embedded above.
  • FourthWall Media, the interactive TV software company formerly known as BIAP, has announced that cable operator, Blue Ridge Communications, has launched its My Football Tracker EBIF application to all its digital households (which are equipped with Cisco set-top boxes). The app, which runs on FourthWall's EBIF User Agent and which is offered free of charge, is targeted at fantasy football players and other football fans. According to FourthWall, it allows viewers to track up-to-the-minute stats on their favorite individual NFL players and their fantasy rosters, and also lets them access constantly updated NFL scores and player and team weekly and year-to-date stats. "Being able to access scores, check your fantasy roster or look up key NFL stats just by pushing a button on your digital remote is exciting and a great added value for our customers," Mark Masenheimer, VP of operations at Blue Ridge, said in a prepared statement. "Fantasy players can input their unique rosters and see real-time updates as their players score touchdowns and pass for yardage even for games not aired locally."


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