Charter Communications, Comcast Corporation and Cox Communications, owners of NCC Media, have announced they are creating a new division within NCC to sell a unified advertising offering across NCC’s participants’ national footprint. The pooled product will launch later this year.
A statement said that Comcast Media 360 (CM360), Comcast Spotlight’s former national advertising sales team, will form the foundation of the group together with “resources” from NCC Media, Charter Communications and Cox Communications. The group will build products that deliver targeted audiences across both linear and video on demand (VOD) platforms. Part of the focus will also be on enhancing research, data and analytic capabilities to provide more consistency on measurement.
The move should be seen as part of a wider TV industry trend of cross-industry cooperation to take on the FATBANG tech companies (Facebook, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu, Apple, Netflix, Google). By working together, broadcasters and/or pay TV operators can pool inventory to offer more scale which makes targeting more effective. In theory at least, joining forces also helps make their sales, marketing and operations more efficient.
Examples are everywhere in the US and Europe. Last year a number of European broadcasters came together to form the ‘European Broadcaster Exchange’; Sky and Liberty Global joined forces so advertisers to be able to buy across Liberty Global inventory via Sky AdSmart; in the US Turner, Viacom and Fox created Open AP, a joint data-sharing and measurement initiative; and in Spain, former rivals Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and commercial broadcasters Atresmedia and Mediaset are planning a joint OTT offering.
“This new group within NCC Media has the ability to make a major impact for all players within the advertising landscape,” said Thomas M. Rutledge, Chairman and CEO, Charter Communications. “It has the power to transform the way we measure advertising effectiveness across linear and VOD through best-in-class data and technology.”
“Together with Charter, Comcast and NCC Media, we have the scale needed to provide even better value to our customers, and we are committed to defining clear standards around measurement that will help marketers better plan, buy and execute campaigns,” said Pat Esser, President of Cox Communications.
“Today’s announcement is a natural extension of the great work we are already doing with Charter, Cox and NCC Media in cable advertising. Together with our partners, we have new opportunities to build advanced advertising solutions that deliver scale, consistency and reliability,” said David Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable.
Andrew Ward, who currently serves as Vice President, CM360, will head the new group as General Manager. Ward, who previously spent 15 years at NCC Media, has more than 30 years of experience bringing new advertising solutions to market. At Comcast Spotlight, he launched the company’s addressable advertising platform as well as new data and analytic capabilities.
“In today’s rapidly changing media marketplace, advertisers are looking for scale, reliability and proven results to reach audiences across devices and time,” said Ward. “Charter, Comcast, Cox and NCC Media are uniquely positioned to lead this industry evolution with integrated advertising solutions driven by non-personal data, precise audience delivery and robust performance measurement.”
NCC Media’s Board of Directors is spearheading the initiative, and is led by David Kline, Executive Vice President and President of Media Sales at Charter Communications, Billy Farina, Senior Vice President at Cox Media, and Marcien Jenckes, President of Advertising at Comcast Cable.