Comcast Media Center, thePlatform help track TV Everywhere

Thu, 05/20/2010 - 8:30am
Mike Robuck

Keeping track of who is viewing Internet TV Everywhere-type video content just got easier thanks to work done by thePlatform, Comcast Media Center and Nielsen.

The Comcast Media Center and thePlatform said they have successfully validated their online video publishing offerings to preserve Nielsen’s audio watermarks. Nielsen's ratings system uses these watermarks to measure audiences for both video programming and commercials.

During a session at last week’s Cable Show in Los Angeles, Scott Teissler, Turner Broadcasting System’s CTO and chief digital strategist, lamented that there needs to be a better way to measure consumption of TV Everywhere content across the various platforms, which thePlatform and the CMC have addressed through their work with Nielsen.

The system provides the C3 ratings, which are the basis for the majority of television advertising negotiations, and will be extended to video viewing on the Internet this fall.

"Media companies are now wholeheartedly embracing multi-platform video distribution, and they want to make sure that their viewers are counted in the C3 ratings," said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform. "Confirmation that the Nielsen watermarks flow through the CMC process is a critical step to realizing this cross-platform goal."

ThePlatform's mpx video management and publishing system would allow networks interested in participating in TV Everywhere initiatives to distribute their content online so that Nielsen can measure eligible cable, telco and satellite video customers who access video programming via the Web.

"The combined capabilities of thePlatform and the CMC represent a fast, seamless and effective means for television networks and their advertisers to measure the 'TV Everywhere' audience, which continues to grow as a result of consumer demand for shows they can watch, both when and where they wish," said Gary Traver, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Comcast Media Center.

For the first implementation, thePlatform and CMC have developed a streamlined process to deliver national television shows to the Web:

  • Using the CMC's Content Distribution Operations Center, or "CDOC" ingest service, the CMC first captures the national video feed of a programmer's show.
  • The CMC provides editing functions for its customers and transcodes the file into a format suitable for online viewing with the Nielsen audio watermark still intact. The CMC uploads the new Flash video file into the customer's video management system.
  • Customers can then publish their show to an online video player or website using a video management system like thePlatform's, which has been validated to preserve the Nielsen watermark.
  • Depending on its customers' strategy, thePlatform will provide the capability to replace this file as necessary to pursue other business models, such as online video advertising insertions.

Both companies said they would continue to work with Nielsen as it introduces the Extended Screen ratings program to the industry later this year.

More Broadband Direct 5/20/10:
•  CED Blog: Say goodbye to Cableland
•  Comcast retools guide for SA boxes
•  Comcast Media Center, thePlatform help track TV Everywhere
•  Comcast's Calif. region offers on-demand tools for SMBs
•  Google's Web video codec project gaining support
•  Google teams with Sony, Intel on 'smart' Web TV
•  Report: Most video to be delivered via IP by 2010
•  Broadband Briefs for 05/20/10




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