Cable’s spot sales operation will rep DirecTV too
NCC Media, the spot advertising company co-owned by Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable, has brought the first non-cable company into the NCC fold: DirecTV.
The agreement is yet another indication that the method of delivering video (wireless, wireline, or which type of each) is gradually becoming irrelevant.
NCC has provided advertisers with one-stop shopping for the vast majority of the country’s cable companies; advertisers will now also be able to make buys at the same time with the biggest satellite operator in the U.S.
The arrangement brings DirecTV to the spot advertising market for the first time, NCC Media said, creating “a golden opportunity for DirecTV and the cable MSOs to grow ad revenues together.”
NCC only in March changed its name from National Cable Communications, signaling an intent to work with other companies beyond traditional cable MSOs. The new, wide-ranging agreement between NCC and DirecTV is an outgrowth of an earlier deal between the two over sales of ad spots in regional sales networks (DirecTV runs regional RSNs in the Northwest, the Rocky Mountains and Pittsburgh).
Nor is the NCC-DirecTV deal unique; it was presaged by deals between the two largest MSOs – both co-owners of NCC – and one of their biggest rivals.
Time Warner Cable’s Media Sales group recently agreed to rep for Verizon FiOS TV  in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. As part of that deal, NCC agreed to manage multi-market buys on both the Time Warner Cable and FiOS TV services for national advertisers. Last year, Comcast made similar arrangements  with Verizon to do the same in several of its markets.
DirecTV recently developed a targeted ad system that enables zone-targeted ads to be stored within DVR-enabled set-top boxes, allowing for the insertion of ads in local breaks across multiple cable networks.
That capability will be integrated with existing local market cable advertising platforms, called 'interconnects', greatly increasing an ad's coverage in 25 select markets.
Testing of this platform is underway. It is expected to be operational in the second half of 2011.
"Combining DirecTV's ad impressions with those of our cable market interconnects will deliver a tremendous advantage to advertisers – greater local reach and penetration against targeted consumers in the best programming on television," said NCC Media President and CEO Greg Schaefer. "And this powerful ad platform will be made available to advertisers via NCC's sales force in 16 offices across the country – and to regional and local marketers via the local interconnect sales teams of Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable."
The operation will be serviced by NCC's E-business applications, which will seamlessly integrate the new DirecTV subscribers into the buying and stewardship systems used by virtually every U.S. ad agency. This integration means there will be no additional effort needed for media planners and buyers to place local ads in satellite homes via NCC or their local cable interconnect partners.
The partnership between NCC Media and DirecTV has its roots in a proven, successful collaboration between the two organizations in the sale of advertising in regional sports networks. This working relationship has given NCC Media hands-on experience with DirecTV's engineering, operations and sales departments, and this ability will be fully utilized going forward.
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