TiVo Takes New Tack Toward TV Ads

DVR maker offers 30 days exposure for price of a 30-second spot
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DVR maker offers 30 days exposure for price of a 30-second spot

ALVISO, CALIF.: TiVo is going after TV ad dollars directly. The digital-video recording maker issued a “challenge” today, offering advertisers 30 days of interactive advertising on its medium for the price of a 30-second spot in prime time.

The company’s pitch is for advertisers to trade in “the value of their least performing prime-time 30-second TV spot and instead using those funds to buy 30 days of exposure on TiVo.” TiVo said it would help identify the least-watched ads with its StopWatch ratings service. StopWatch monitors 72 national networks and 40 smaller ones and tracks time-shifted viewing on a second-by-second basis.

TiVo’s ad challenge comes less than a week after the U.S. Patent office reaffirmed the validity of the technology patent disputed by EchoStar. TiVo went after EchoStar and Dish Network six years ago for allegedly using its time-shifting technology. The satellite TV provider has been fighting back ever since. A TiVo executive in September said the final decision is expected in the first quarter of 2011.
-- Deborah D. McAdams