Bright House Networks has formed an advertising interconnect in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market (14th-largest TV market) via Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Spotlight and Viamedia (which sells ads on behalf of FiOS TV and Knology). The “Tampa Bay Interconnect” (TBI) is the one-stop shop for planning, placement and billing across the metro, however, Bright House, Comcast and Viamedia will also continue to sell local zip code/zone ads individually via their local sales offices.
TBI says it will reach some 80% of the total TV households in the market, as measured by Nielsen. Bright House Media Strategies, the MSO’s ad sales division, is now selling ads to start airing in Q1. We’re seeing more and more of these deals: Comcast Spotlight, the ad sales division of Comcast Cable and AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions, the national ad sales division of AT&T, earlier this year signed a sales pact that includes 20+ markets where both Comcast and AT&T currently provide TV service. Comcast Spotlight sells local ads on the AT&T U-verse TV service
Comcast Spotlight signed similar deals with Verizon FiOS TV in 2009 that covers Baltimore, Boston, Fort Wayne, Ind., Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., Richmond, Va., Seattle and Washington, D.C., selling local advertising on more than 50 ad-supported cable networks.
In Tampa/St. Pete/Sarasota, NCC Media (the national spot sales firm owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications) will continue work with national advertisers looking to place campaigns using TBI.
RBR-TVBR observation: Bottom line, more and more cable operators have teamed up with telco and satellite TV providers to make it easier for the advertisers to make broader-reach buys–and to get more of the overall share of the ad pie. Competitors are friends when competing sales teams have access to each other’s inventory.