Subscribers to Dish Network (DISH) satellite TV are about to find themselves poked and prodded when they’re watching networks and stations owned by NBC U. The media company signed an interactive ad deal with the satellite TV company that will allow advertisers to prompt viewers to respond to ads via their remotes.
There’s nothing new about this–Time Warner (TWX) and other cable operators have been experimenting with interactive TV with their digital cable boxes for years, and NBC has a similar arrangement with TiVo. On Dish Network, certain ads on NBC U networks (NBC, SciFi, USA, Oxygen, etc) will display an icon that takes a viewer to a page with more information about the product or service. The Dish DVR records programming missed so viewers can return to exactly where they were before they exited.
A deal like this gives NBC U the chance to sell the capability at a premium to advertisers willing to pay for the certainty that their ad was watched and that someone cared enough to click. In an era of ad-skipping and declining ratings, that’s big.