Or something like that. Just weeks after filing lawsuits and counterlawsuits against each other over dicey claims in both satellite providers’ advertising campaigns — DirecTV and Dish Network are making nice.
The dueling satcasters — who once came close to merging, in 2003 (until the government’s antitrust concerns squashed that deal) — have sealed a new deal to share a new interactive advertising platform. (First step to finally consummating that long-expected merger? Hmm.)
According to a joint statement by DirecTV and Dish — again, there’s something you don’t see every day — the two satellite providers announced the launch of the “Advanced Satellite Advertising Platform (ASAP),” which they said gives advertisers “unprecedented reach to nearly 30 million U.S. households.” Announcement comes on the eve of the annual advertiser upfront sales marketplace.
Here’s the jargon-filled explainer from DirecTV and Dish:
Advertisers will benefit from a turn-key, one-stop-shop approach with respect to the process of creating, planning, buying and implementing a national interactive advertising campaign. ASAP’s core opportunity will offer advertisers the ability to showcase long-form advertorial content on an exclusive, dedicated channel coupled with interactive opportunities to further engage the consumer. These interactive opportunities include additional product information, photo galleries, simple gaming, regional locators and requests-for-information (RFIs). RFIs enable consumers at home to enter a sweepstakes or request a product sample, informational brochure or coupon directly from the television using their remote control.
“Both DirecTV and Dish Network have offered advertisers a proven and mature interactive platform that dates back to 2004,” said Bob Riordan, Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales for DirecTV. “Our combined advanced television efforts will bring the marketplace unmatched expertise and an unrivaled nationally scaled experience.”
DirecTV filed suit against Dish Network in February, alleging that Dish’s “Why Pay More?” ad campaign was false and misleading. Dish then filed a countersuit against DirecTV in March, responding that DirecTV’s latest campaign — including one starring Alex Trebek — were false and misleading. (More info here.)
A spokesperson for DirecTV confirmed on Monday that both suits had been dropped, in advance of today’s “ASAP” announcement.
“ASAP is a wonderful opportunity for interactive television and to recapture revenue that has left the television marketplace, so it makes sense to work with DISH on this endeavor,” the spokesperson said.