In July, 2010, TVB’s Gary Belis confirmed that TVB was considering spinning off the managing of its ePort electronic platform for buying and selling spot TV. That has now happened (as of 9/1): Katz Television Group and Cox Reps announced a new collaboration with Strata to assume financial and directional support of ePort.
RBR-TVBR spoke with Steve Lanzano, TVB CEO, about why the move was made. Listen to the audio, above.
Strata created ePort for TVB in 2007 as an electronic platform over which buyers, local TV broadcasters or national representatives can send any transaction, and from which any buyer or seller can receive any and all transactions. Local TV broadcasters and the rep community funded the multi-million dollar development to make the process more accurate for the nearly 75% of local broadcast business conducted via a paper process. To date, ePort has processed more than $2 billion through its electronic transaction system, simplifying the entire process through increased automation and greater accuracy.
Due to the new commitment from Cox Reps and Katz Television Group, ePort will now have the financial backing to seamlessly continue and improve its operations. The system is slated for growth over the next five years with the implementation of future technological advancements. Strata will now resume technical support activities with Katz TV and Cox Reps. Working together, Katz TV, Cox Reps and Strata plan to add functionality to ePort that will make local spot television even easier to transact.
ePort’s capabilities complement those of DARE (Direct Agency/Rep Exchange), a system developed by the TV reps as an electronic bridge for sending and receiving transactions between agencies and reps and which has served the industry for more than 25 years.
“Local television continues to expand its impact and reach through broadcast, online and mobile platforms. Further improving our e-business capabilities will help to facilitate and sustain that growth,” said Leo MacCourtney, President of Eagle Television Sales, a division of Katz. “We are grateful to TVB for providing the initial impetus for ePort, an invaluable tool that has made our business more efficient and effective. Along with our associates at Cox Reps and STRATA, we look forward to providing our support to continue to make these services available to our colleagues in the industry.”
Cox Reps and Katz TV were instrumental in bringing DARE to national spot TV. Now, in taking over the support of ePort, Katz TV and Cox Reps are assuming a key e-business leadership position for the entire industry and ensuring that every buyer can do business electronically with every commercial TV station and rep firm in the country.