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Cox and SeaChange Demo Transport Streams Ad Insertion

Cable Networks See Local Digital Ad Insertion Ready for Launch; Industry Clears Hurdles Before Taking New Ad Revenues In Local Cable (August 08, 2001)
Cox Communications' CableRep Advertising and SeaChange International, Inc. have brought the local cable television advertising industry to the cusp of reaping revenues on digital cable channels. In July before an audience representing the top advertising-supported cable networks, CableRep and SeaChange proved the best practices for the insertion of local ads into digital cable channels while maintaining the video integrity of the network feeds in a typical multichannel operation.

The end-to-end technology for digital cable ad insertion -- also known as "transport streams insertion" -- was demonstrated in Cox's Chandler, Arizona headend for executives representing networks and organizations including ESPN, CNN, Discovery Channel, TNT and the Society of Cable Television Engineers' digital video subcommittee. Multiple insertions originating from a SeaChange Spot ad insertion system, each comprising two 30-second ads, were done in local breaks for 10 networks including ESPNEWS, CNNSI and Discovery Wings.

"We've demonstrated the seamless performance of digital cable ad insertion in the real world of a local cable environment," said Guy McCormick, vice president of technical operations, CableRep Advertising. "Combine this achievement with the emergence of industry standards and we're poised to unleash the local ad revenue potential of digital cable programming. Having enabled the premier ad-supported networks to witness the performance in the field, CableRep now prepares for transport streams insertion deployments with great confidence. Our rollouts will commence shortly."

CableRep's first market implementation of transport streams insertion begins this month with the Phoenix cable system enabling ad placements and promotions on digital networks including ESPNEWS.

"This milestone translates into significant value and revenue for our affiliates," said Jeff Siegel, vice president of affiliate advertising sales and new business, ESPN. "The ESPN networks lead the industry in generating local advertising, accounting for over 20% of all local revenue. It is important to maintain and continue to grow this lead in an increasingly fragmented market. Cable programmers will recognize CableRep's field implementation as the seminal event leading to the emergence of digital cable ad insertion in local cable systems."

"CableRep and SeaChange have been close allies in paving the way for the cable industry's local ad revenue opportunity in the digital domain," said James Kelso, vice president of advertising systems, SeaChange International. "Our collaboration has delivered proof of readiness to the networks. Now the stage is set for transport streams insertion technology to roll out in widespread local deployments."

This first real world implementation of digital advertising inserted into digital cable broadcast follows CableLabs' successful lab tests of Society of Cable Television Engineers' (SCTE) standards DVS-253, to demonstrate the viability of digital network embedded triggers, and DVS-380, to prove the interoperability of servers and network equipment. The acceptance of these standards is essential to enabling local cable systems to insert ads and programs into digital cable channels that are originated as multiplexed digital transport streams. The opportunities for local insertion will expand as cable's channel universe continues to migrate from analog to the digital tier.

About CableRep
CableRep Advertising is the advertising sales arm of Cox Communications, a Fortune 500 company serving approximately 6.2 million customers nationwide, making it the nation's fifth largest cable television company. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at

About SeaChange
SeaChange International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SEAC) established the benchmark in digital advertising insertion with SeaChange Spot digital insertion systems deployed in support of approximately 80 percent of the cable television industry and delivering more than three million ads daily. For more information about SeaChange and digital transport streams insertion, please visit

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Related Keywords:DTV Professional, Digital Media Net, advertising-supported cable networks, CableRep, SeaChange, best practices, insertion of local ads into digital cable channels, video integrity, network feeds, typical multichannel operation

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