Television isn’t what it used to be, and that’s fine with E! Entertainment Television, the Los Angeles-based cable channel.
The channel will provide special content to subscribers of TiVo, the personalized television service. In the first quarter of 1999, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based TiVo plans to launch a set-top box-based application which will allow users to time-shift broadcast, cable or satellite programming for later viewing. The E! deal is its first content agreement.
The TiVo set-top box, which the company calls a “content receiver,” can handle multiple data streams, which could include targeted ads and multimedia content. TiVo can also track viewer habits via subscribers’ use of the TiVo remote control.
“Working with TiVo, E! can offer their own advertisers the same addressable advertising and measurements that Internet advertising provides,” said Ed MacBeth, TiVo vice president, marketing and business development. TiVo is also in talks with partners ranging from content providers to cable companies.
Foote Cone & Belding, San Francisco, is considering campaigns on TiVo for at least two of its clients. Said Brian Mansfield, vice president, interactive programs, “It’s advertising beyond the 30-second spot. It’s more like an interactive brochure that would allow viewers to dig down and get more detailed information.”
TiVo will work with E! to create a branded showcase to help the system’s subscribers decide what to view, either on E!, its sister network, called “style.” or on unrelated services such as pay-per-view. “The showcase is another extension of the E! brand,” said Doug Sylvester, E! vice president, new business development.
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