Canoe Clicks On Softel For ITV Deployment

Canoe Ventures, the cable-owned advanced advertising company, is using Softel's MediaSphere interactive TV management platform to deploy its initial ITV advertising product, the vendor announced Thursday.

Currently, Canoe's ITV platform reaches more than 22 million digital cable households across multiple operators nationwide. This week Canoe's request for information (RFI) product, which lets viewers request product literature or sample by clicking on an interactive overlay, received the Direct Marketing Association's Innovation Award.

Softel said it has worked with Canoe since 2008. MediaSphere enables development and deployment of ITV applications including those based on CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF). The MediaSphere system has been deployed at multiple programmers for EBIF application playout in support of Canoe's RFI campaigns, and the system will support in-program interactivity via Canoe's polling and trivia products.

Softel has "demonstrated a commitment to working closely with other ITV ecosystem suppliers to deliver full interoperability, and its in-depth knowledge of U.S. deployments is extremely valuable," Canoe chief technology officer Joel Hassel said in a prepared statement.

According to Softel, MediaSphere is used by more than 20 operators, programmers and developers in North America. The company, based in Pangbourne, England, U.K., develops TV and video technologies including subtitling and captioning, interactive TV, MPEG stream processing and multiplexing.

New York-based Canoe is owned by the six largest U.S. cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.