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AETN, NBC Take Shopping Trips

Soon to be seen on TV: a new way for
programmers to flog merch to their most devoted fans.

Starting in the second quarter, A&E Television Networks
and NBC plan to launch campaigns to sell products associated
with some of their primetime shows through ads
on Rovi’s interactive program guides, in partnership with
commerce-services firm
Delivery Agent.

The campaigns will
feature products from
AETN series, including
History’s Pawn Stars
and NBC shows such as
The Biggest Loser and The
. Banner ads promoting
the products are
slated to run on operators
participating in Rovi’s
IPG advertising network,
which include Time Warner
Cable’s Los Angeles
and Dallas systems,
Charter Communications,
Insight Communications
and Mediacom

At some point, the system from Rovi and Delivery Agent
will let consumers buy products directly from their TVs,
according to Rovi senior vice president of worldwide advertising
sales Jeff Siegel. Initially, viewers will be directed
to a website or a toll-free number if they want to
purchase something.

“The guide portals can now be commerce-driven, so
you can offer the opportunity to buy something associated
with the show,” Siegel said. In addition, Rovi expects
to be able to offer a “buy” button next to listings in the IPG
grid for advertisers, to link viewers to on-screen commerce

To date, the biggest foray into t-commerce has been by
HSN, whose Shop by Remote app is available in more than
30 million homes through Comcast, Dish Network, Verizon
Communications and Time Warner Cable Oceanic.
QVC plans to introduce its own t-commerce app in 2011.

Rovi is looking to take shopping on TV beyond cable.
The company plans to offer the Delivery Agent commerce
capabilities to consumer-electronics makers that use Rovi’s
guides for Internet-connected TVs and other devices.
“Within 90 days we’ll have something up and running on
the connected-devices side,” Siegel said.

Delivery Agent’s database includes more than 1 million
products seen in entertainment content, and is able
to contextually match up a product with what a viewer
is watching on TV. The
company will work with
Rovi to offer IPG display
advertisers the opportunity
to add commerce
elements to their advertising
programs, providing
a turnkey solution
that includes designing,
hosting and managing a
commerce portal.

Delivery Agent has
worked with media companies
including CBS,
NBC Universal, Twentieth
Century Fox, Discovery
AETN, HBO, Showtime
Networks, The CW and
Univision Communications.
Canoe Ventures also formed a partnership with
Delivery Agent, among others, to explore t-commerce opportunities.

Separately last week, Cablevision Systems entered into
a multiyear patent-licensing agreement with Rovi. Terms
were not disclosed. The deal gives the MSO a license to Rovi’s
IPG patent portfolio for next-generation set-top, online
and mobile platforms.