This year’s highly contentious elections are expected to trigger a flood of local political ads — and ABC is looking for a bigger piece of that action.
The Alphabet net and its affiliate board unveiled Wednesday a new plan — dubbed “Inventory Exchange System” — that will allow local stations to purchase additional network ad inventory.
Under the plan, which reps a first for the network, ABC will pick a handful of 30-second spots on shows such as “Modern Family” and ask stations market-by-market whether they’d like to purchase that spot to resell locally. (Pricetag for stations will depend on market size.)
If enough affils agree, ABC hands the spot over to them. No one’s getting rich off the deal, but the Alphabet winds up making more money from the stations than if it had sold the spot nationally, while stations pocket the profit for the spot after paying the net.For stations opting out, ABC will feed either a promo or a regionally sold ad during that spot.
ABC will employ the program during times of year when local ad demand is higher, such as political seasons and the holidays.
“We’re creating a new industry paradigm,” said Disney/ABC TV Group prexy Anne Sweeney.
ABC affil board chairman Bill Hoffman called IES “the result of some great creative thinking between the ABC network and the ABC board of governors.” This “looks to be a real winner for both sides,” said Hoffman, veep and g.m. of WSB-TV Atlanta.
ABC has filed a patent for the computer program that will keep track of the IES system.