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AMC, A+E Networks Join The Canoe Crew

Canoe, the MSO-backed advanced ad consortium, has added two more major cable programmers to its dynamic ad insertion lineup for VOD – A+E Networks and AMC Networks, Chris Pizzurro, head of sales and marketing at Canoe, said in a recent interview.

Those corporate deals  give Canoe, a J.V. that’s backed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Bright House Networks, the green light to work with individual cable channels such as AMC, We, A&E, History, and Lifetime, among others. In the early going, AMC, A&E, History and Lifetime are already up and running with Canoe.

Pizzurro, who spoke about cable’s DAI activities on Thursday (Feb. 27)  at the Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable advanced advertising event in New York, said Canoe now has 30 networks actively running VOD ad campaigns, with more than 100 under agreement.

Canoe’s “marching orders” for 2014 is to sign up more programmers, Pizzurro said. “We don’t have everyone on the platform. I would love to have everyone on the platform.

In addition to latest programmers added to the crew, Canoe is also working with ABC and ABC Family, several  NBCUniversal properties, Fox, a batch of channels from the Scripps Networks stable, and independent VOD programmer Sportskool. Canoe's evolving list of programming partners is listed here.

Among the group evaluating whether to join the Canoe crew is Mag Rack, a VOD-only programmer that’s offered in about 40 million homes. CEO Joe Covey told Multichannel News recently that Mag Rack has long-lived under the assumption that VOD DAI is just around the corner. “I’m starting to believe that it’s real…I’m optimistic,” Covey said.

DAI is critical to Mag Rack, which doesn’t have a linear service. “We have to fight hard to get ad dollars,” Covey said.

Pizzurro said Canoe, which currently reaches 26 of the top 30 designated market areas (DMAs), including all top ten, covering about 30 million households, is also tasked with overcoming historic ad agency concerns about the J.V.’s technology and reporting capabilities.

On that list is getting the word out that Canoe’s DAI platform enables advertisers to insert new ads in a matter of a day or two, and that its system now has access to more advanced reporting tools that tell advertisers which specified ads were viewed. In an effort to get agencies up to speed, Canoe will hold a seminar for ad agencies on Thursday, March 6 at the Time Warner Center in New York.

Canoe, which underwent a major overhaul in 2012, is already deployed in the Comcast and TWC footprints, and expects to have Cox and Bright House Networks fully up and running by the end of 2014.

While Canoe’s current focus is on set-top-based VOD advertising, Pizzurro said Canoe is considering how to work with programmers and MSOs on the TV Everywhere front. “We are exploring those possibilities,” he said. “We clearly view it as organic growth.”

Here’s an updated list of the DMAs currently reached by Canoe’s DAI platform:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago                               
  • Philadelphia
  • Dallas – Ft. Worth
  • San Francisco                    
  • Boston                                 
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Detroit
  • Seattle – Tacoma
  • Minneapolis – St. Paul
  • Miami
  • Denver
  • Cleveland
  • Sacramento
  • Portland
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh–Durham, N.C.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Indianapolis
  • Baltimore
  • San Diego
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Hartford, Conn.