NBC Pacts with TiVo on Ads and Measurement

Through a strategic partnership with TiVo, NBC Universal will subscribe to the DVR platform’s StopWatch commercial ratings service and offer special packages to its advertisers.

Under the multi-year agreement, advertisers will be able to purchase interactive tags that appear during their commercials. Viewers can click on the tags to watch expanded content from the advertiser or provide information to the marketer, then return to the program in progress where they left off.

“NBC has the ability to offer these enhancements so the ads have even more traction for time-shifted viewers,” said Naveen Chopra, VP of corporate development at TiVo. NBC and TiVo said they will work together to develop additional advertising products, and share revenues, in the future.

NBC can also include the tags in house ads promoting its own programs, allowing viewers to record a show with one click on the remote. “It’s a slick way for NBC to drive additional viewing for shows they’re promoting,” said Chopra.

Advertising agencies and advertisers represent the bulk of subscribers to TiVo’s advertising platform and StopWatch service. Networks have been concerned about how digital video recorders (DVR) erode the commercial-viewing audience. “This is the first network deal we’ve announced,” said Chopra. “Now the people on the other end of the equation want to make sure they have the same type of information about how advertising is being viewed and how traditional forms are affected in a DVR world.”

NBC will likely use its StopWatch subscription to gain insight into how consumers view recorded content, including advertisements, and provide data to advertisers. TiVo’s Chopra said data on reach and response rates with tagged commercials has not been broadly publicized. It will be up to NBC to decide if it wants to release statistics from TiVo’s service.

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