How Dish Could Drive Interactive Ad Revenue

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A patent published this week offers a glimpse at how Dish Network could generate revenue by establishing voice connections between advertisers and subscribers.

The patent issued to Dish corporate sibling EchoStar details an invention that could be commercialized through Dish’s core satellite TV service, over-the-top product Sling TV and the mobile video and data service that it is developing.

Former EchoStar engineer Mashfique Iqbal is named as inventor on the patent, titled, “Enabling Communication Connections Related to Received Content.” Iqbal is now a senior embedded software engineer at Brocade, a Colorado-based software defined networking technology provider.

Abstract: A content receiver determines that a communication connection recipient identifier is associated with content received from a content provider. An associated communication device is identified by the content receiver. The content receiver then signals the communication device to initiate a communication connections utilizing the communication identifier. In some implementations, the content receiver may provide a user with a notification and may signal the communication device after receiving a responses to the notification. In one or more implementations, the communication connection recipient identifiers may be telephone numbers, the communication devices may be telecommunication devices, and the communication connections may be telephone connections. The content receiver may determine that a communication connection recipient identifier is associated with content based on analysis of metadata that accompanies or that otherwise corresponds to the received content or by audio and/or image recognition performed on the content.

Patent

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Claims:

  1. A method for enabling communication connections related to received content at a content receiver, the method comprising: determining, utilizing at least one processing unit, that at least one telephone number is associated with at least one instance of content stored in a digital video recorder by analyzing metadata related to the at least one instance of content, wherein the telephone number is provided within the metadata and is extracted from the metadata by the content receiver, and wherein the metadata is provided to the content receiver separately from the at least one instance of content; identifying at least one external telecommunication device, utilizing the at least one processing unit, that is separate from the content receiver but that is in communication with the content receiver; and providing, utilizing the at least one processing unit and in response to a signal indicating a request for the telephone number and received from a user interface component that is separate from the telecommunication device, the telephone number extracted from the metadata to the external telecommunication device during playback of the content from the digital video recorder to initiate at least one telephone connection utilizing the at least one telephone number, utilizing the at least one user interface component, providing at least one notification to at least one user regarding the at least one telephone number, and receiving as the signal indicating the request at least one response to the at least one notification from the at least one user indicating to call the at least one telephone number prior to the at least one processing unit signaling the at least one external telecommunication device.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein said operation of signaling, utilizing the at least one processing unit, the telecommunication device to initiate at least one telephone connection utilizing the at least one telephone number further comprises: providing at least one notification to at least one user regarding the at least one telephone number; and receiving at least one response to the at least one notification from the at least one user indicating to call the at least one telephone number.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein said metadata related to the at least one instance of content is provided within electronic program guide data delivered to the content receiver in a separate band from the at least one instance of content.
  1. The method of claim 1, wherein said operation of identifying at least one telecommunication device, utilizing the at least one processing unit, that is associated with the content receiver further comprises retrieving associated telecommunication device information from at least one non-transitory storage medium.
  1. The method of claim 4, further comprising: prompting at least one user for the associated telecommunication device information; and storing the associated telecommunication device information received from the at least one user in the at least one non-transitory storage medium.
  1. A content receiver system for receiving received content, the content receiver system comprising: at least one receiver component that receives at least one instance of the received content; a digital video recorder configured to store the received content; at least one transmitter component; and at least one processing unit configured to extract at least one telephone number associated with the at least one instance of the received content stored in the digital video recorder from metadata about the received content that is received at the content receiver system separately from the received content, to identify that at least one external telecommunication device is in communication with the at least one content receiver, and to provide, in response to a signal indicating a request for the telephone number and received from a user interface component that is separate from the telecommunication device, the extracted at least one telephone number to the at least one telecommunication device via the at least one transmitter component during playback of the content from the digital video recorder to initiate at least one telephone connection utilizing the at least one telephone number extracted from the metadata provided separately form the received content, wherein the at least one content receiver further comprises the user interface component, said component being configured to provide at least one notification to at least one user regarding the at least one telephone number, and receive as the signal indicating the request at least one response to the at least one notification from the at least one user indicating to call the at least one telephone number prior to the at least one processing unit signaling the at least one external telecommunication device.
  1. The system of claim 6, wherein the at least one transmitter component is a wireless transmitter capable of transmitting the at least one telephone number to the external telecommunication device.
  1. The system of claim 7 wherein the external telecommunication device is a mobile telephone.
  1. The system of claim 6, wherein the metadata related to the at least one instance of content is provided within electronic program guide data delivered to the content receiver in a separate band from the at least one instance of content.
  1. The system of claim 6, wherein the at least one processing unit identifies that the at least one telecommunication device is associated with the at least one content receiver by retrieving associated telecommunication device information from at least one non-transitory storage medium of the at least one content receiver.
  1. The system of claim 10, wherein the at least one content receiver further comprises at least one user interface component that is configured to prompt at least one user for the associated telecommunication device information and the at least one processing unit stores the associated telecommunication device information received via the at least one user interface component in the at least one non-transitory storage medium.
  1. A computer program product comprising: a first set of instructions, stored in at least one non-transitory machine readable medium, executable by at least one processing unit to determine that at least one telephone number is provided in metadata associated with a television program received by a content receiver and stored in a digital video recorder, wherein the metadata is received by the content receiver separately from the television program; and a second set of instructions, stored in the at least one non-transitory machine readable medium, executable by the at least one processing unit to identify an external telephone that is in communication with the content receiver; and a third set of instructions, stored in the at least one non-transitory machine readable medium, executable by the at least one processing unit to signal the external telephone when the stored television program is being played back from the digital video recorder and to provide, in response to a signal indicating a request for the telephone number and received from a user interface component that is separate from the telecommunication device, the telephone number to the external telephone to thereby allow the external telephone to initiate a telephone call to the telephone number that is provided in the metadata associated with the television program that is provided separately from the television program; and a fourth set of instructions, stored in the at least one non-transitory machine readable medium, executable by the at least one processing unit to cause the at least one user interface component to provide at least one notification to at least one user regarding the at least one telephone number, and receive as the signal indicating the request at least one response to the at least one notification from at least one user indicating to initiate the call to the telephone number prior to the at least one processing unit signaling the at least one external telecommunication device.
  1. The computer program product of claim 12, wherein the telephone number is provided to the external telephone while the telephone number is being displayed by the content receiver during playback of the stored television program from the digital video recorder.
  1. The computer program product of claim 12 wherein the metadata related to the at least one instance of content is provided within electronic program guide data delivered to the content receiver in a separate band from the at least one instance of content.