Rovi Pushes Ad 'Portals' For Interactive Guides

Rovi has launched an initiative to sell advertising across its interactive program guides, claiming to have the capability to reach up to 30 million homes through cable operators, consumer-electronics devices and other vendors.

With the Rovi Advertising Network, the company's ad-sales team is pitching TV "portals" accessible to 15.8 million U.S. households in which its television guides are available, including service providers and active CE devices. According to Rovi, it can reach an additional 14 million households via third-party guides that use Rovi-patented technology.

Rovi works with more than 200 operators across North America, but the company currently is not disclosing specific MSOs that are participating in the Rovi Ad Network, according to Tom Wolfe, senior director of business development.

Historically, Rovi has sold banner-advertising inventory for IPGs on set-tops in various systems of Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications, Bresnan Communications and others. Rovi, previously called Macrovision Solutions, completed the acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International in 2008.

The Rovi Ad Network will offer three formats: a "standard portal," to let consumers record a program, set a reminder, watch content or learn more about a product or promotion; a "video portal" that links directly to VOD video content; and a "dynamic portal" comprising video, graphics, text, programming and/or interactive content.

The company's executives have been discussing the concept of selling full-screen, interactive video-based promos for more than a year.

"This simplifies the process for advertisers by allowing them to apply their campaigns against a broader distribution and reach multiple types of TV viewers, transcending time-shifting, while also working with a single partner," Corey Ferengul, Rovi's executive vice president of product management and marketing, said in a statement.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Rovi also is offering set-top box data through its partner MSOs and research companies such as Kantar Media to track ad campaign metrics.

According to Rovi, 78% of set-tops with a guide are used to access the guide on a weekly basis while about a third of TV viewing time is the result of choices made from the guide.