06530082 is referenced by 300 patents.

A system and method provide sophisticated analysis of program viewership by executing interactive applications that generate responses describing the viewers' behavior. A broadcast server maintains a database of interactive applications each preferably associated with a program that will be broadcast. The interactive applications preferably include monitoring interactive applications that are configured to selectively monitor viewership, interactive application usage, and reception terminal usage. When the program is broadcast, the monitoring interactive application is inserted into the broadcast feed and delivered to a broadcast receiver such as a television set-top box. The broadcast receiver includes a processor, memory, and other hardware necessary to execute the interactive application. When executed, the interactive application monitors usage of the broadcast receiver, including, for example, the program watched by the subscriber, the entry and exit paths to the program, whether the volume was changed during the program, and the usage of interactive applications. The monitored data is sent in a response packet to a local data center at, for example, the cable headend. The local data center supplements the response with subscriber information from one or more subscriber databases, including marketing information such as the subscriber's age, race, and income. Information about all of the subscribers is aggregated by the local data center and transmitted to a master data center. The master data center aggregates all of the received information, supplements it if possible with additional subscriber information, and provides reports to the broadcaster indicating the geographic, demographic, and psychographic profiles of the program viewers.

Title
Configurable monitoring of program viewership and usage of interactive applications
Application Number
9/71003
Publication Number
6530082 (B1)
Application Date
April 30, 1998
Publication Date
March 4, 2003
Inventor
Jana J Paquette
Oakland
ME, US
Christopher J Michel
Burbank
CA, US
Timothy V Travaille
Bellevue
WA, US
Eric E Del Sesto
Alameda
CA, US
Agent
Fenwick & West
US
Assignee
Wink Communications
CA, US
IPC
H04N 9/00
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