Now Cable is Watching You

New ad technology tracks family viewing habits from cable box data
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 10:53 PM CST
Television advertisers are beginning to use a new technology that enables them to use data from cable television boxes to track viewing habits and thereby target ads to specific groups of viewers.   ((c) thparkth)
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(Newser) – Viewing data flashed from cable boxes is being used to monitor family viewing habits and then target advertising more selectively to cable customers. The Wall Street Journal reports the new process comes from Navic Networks, an interactive TV company in Massachusetts, comparable to technology used by Internet advertisers, and is undergoing tests with several different cable operators.

In one test, realtor Re/Max, which normally places ads in home improvement shows like HGTV's 'House Hunters', was able to quickly trace target socio-economic groups to other shows. The cable operators claim there are no privacy considerations. "The viewing behavior they have can't be tied back to a person or to a household," says one executive.