Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin said Wednesday that seven networks will offer advertisers an opportunity to run interactive ads in 20 million-plus cable homes in about 90 days.
Comcast's E! and Style networks, along with Cablevision's AMC, are already selling a Canoe-developed platform allowing for request-for-information spots. Bravo, Discovery Channel, History and USA will be open for business by early summer, Verklin said.
Separately, Verklin said Canoe aims to add households served by satellite operators DirecTV and Dish Network to its footprint of cable homes able to accept the ads.
That would be in line with a new initiative led by NCC Media that has cable operators and DirecTV working together to offer inventory across homes served by both.
Canoe has spent some time getting to the 20-million-home footprint that Verklin cited. It has had to figure out how to enable set-top-boxes with a common technology to send the ads into homes served by the six cable operators that own Canoe.
Of the seven networks set to offer the RFI ads, four will be run by Comcast, which will also have a stake in a fifth (History). The networks license the ad-serving technology from Canoe.
Comcast and Cablevision are co-owners of Canoe, along with the four other largest cable operators in the country.
The RFI ads include a banner prompting a viewer to order a coupon or product sample via a remote control. The process is double opt-in, so a viewer has to order and then confirm.
Verklin said at the NATPE event that by the end of the summer, an iTV polling application will also be in place, which would open the opportunity for sponsorships. A viewer could vote for the player of the game "instead of having the announcers tell you" who it is, he said.