Comcast (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, says it hopes to start seeing a trickle of revenue next year from Canoe Ventures, the cable industry’s interactive advertising project.
“You really won’t see it in the numbers in a material fashion for a while,” Comcast warned on its earnings call this morning. But there will be some revenue in 2010, becoming “more material in the future.”
Comcast’s advertising revenue dropped 20% year-over-year to $325 million in the second quarter.
Right now, Comcast and Canoe are waiting for cable companies to roll out a new technology called EBIF, which will allow for interactive viewer voting and polling, and could reportedly allow viewers to receive information and coupons in the mail from advertisers.
Comcast said its partner cable providers could have as many as 25 million EBIF-ready homes by the end of this year.
Canoe recently had a 3-hour board meeting, and Comcast execs spent another 3-4 hours with the Canoe team. The project is “going quite well,” Comcast thinks.
Earlier this year, Canoe bailed on its first product, “Community Addressable Messaging,” which was supposed to let advertisers run a different ad in 370 “high-income cable zones” nationwide. Why? Because the cable companies’ ageing infrastructure couldn’t handle such a high-tech product.
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