Cablevision Systems Corp. will start showing interactive advertising to about 3 million digital-television customers next month, becoming the first U.S. cable operator to introduce the ads.
Cablevision has signed on at least six national advertisers, said spokesman Jim Maiella. Customers will use remote controls to click on banners at the bottom of their screens during commercials and get coupons or free samples of products by mail, he said. The feature won’t interrupt programs.
The cable industry aims to use interactive commercials to squeeze more money from a slumping ad market. The six largest cable companies, including Cablevision, created Canoe Ventures last year to introduce similar ads nationally. The effort was hampered by the technological limitations of older set-top boxes and privacy concerns, leading Canoe to suspend trials of its first product in June. More…