Television broadcasters including Nexstar Media, Sinclair Broadcast, Tenga, and Tribune Media have formed a consortium to streamline the process of buying local TV advertising by developing standards-based interfaces.

The group launched the TV Interface Practices (TIP) Initiative to replace the manual process of advertising buying by encouraging interoperability and system-to-system electronic processes.

To help meet this goal, the consortium contacted more than a dozen local TV ad transaction systems providers and developed a proposed set of APIs to support the electronic transfer of “buy” transactional data.

The group believes standard API interfaces set the stage for advanced local TV and ATSC 3.0 and will significantly enhance the efficiency of buying local media by U.S. ad agencies.

“The goal of the TIP initiative is to accelerate local TV interoperability by creating a coalition of system providers to work with buyers and sellers to develop and implement streamlined transaction workflows using standards-based open APIs,” Perry Sook, CEO of Nexstar Media Group, who also serves as the chairman of TVB, commented in a statement. “To sustain local television’s advantages across all screens and devices, we must work together as an industry to create a more efficient marketplace for advertisers to access local TV inventory in a manner that is cost effective for the buyer, while maintaining the integrity of our product. By encouraging broadcasters, advertisers, and others to join the TIP Initiative and participate in this important, ongoing collaborative effort we will improve our competitiveness with other media and deliver more brand safe solutions to advertisers and brands.”

“Many of our advertising agency partners have told us they are unable to leverage our valuable television ad inventory because outdated processes leave them with little or no margin to support a local spot buy,” Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair, said. “The TIP Initiative demonstrates the industry’s shared commitment to working together with technology providers and advertising partners to develop open standards-based solutions for efficient automated buying and selling of broadcast TV spot inventory. In addition, advertising and programming content monetization options will expand with Next-Gen TV, giving broadcasters the ability to deliver targeted campaigns to advertisers that reach local audiences at scale. For our industry to quickly and effectively optimize this opportunity, while ensuring transparency, it is important for us to collaborate on this effort ahead of the adoption of ATSC 3.0.”

TVB, a local broadcast TV trade association, said it will provide a repository for the TIP Initiative’s work and open access for industry partners.

The consortium released a technical whitepaper describing potential best practices for the local TV transaction workflow and recommended API framework, which can be found here.