×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal Will Allow Programmatic Ad Buys Across TV Networks

NBCUniversal will allow advertisers to purchase some of its most expensive advertising inventory through a method that was created with the goal of making the price as cheap as possible.

The Comcast-controlled entertainment giant said it would make a portion of advertising across all of its broadcast and cable networks available for purchase via so-called “programmatic” technology, which helps marketers place ads according to a predefined set of data — and get it at what is believed to be a more efficient price. The technique is gaining more traction as Madison Avenue attempts to place advertising on TV in much the same way it does in digital arenas, with precision and in a way that can reach an audience more narrowly defined around a set of behaviors or characteristics.

The offering represents “a sea change,” said Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of entertainment advertising at NBCUniversal, during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

NBCU’s decision may cause some hand-wringing among media companies. Among many ad-sales executives, inventory purchased via “programmatic” means a bid to get a piece of ad time on TV for a less expensive price than might be had by other means.

“Not at all,” said Lovinger, when asked if NBCU was concerned that clients might be getting some of its best advertising real estate for a better price than the company might want to offer. Instead, he added, NBCU is responding to what its clients are seeking.

The announcement comes less than a year after NBCU’s parent company purchased Visible World, a technology company that helps advertisers place TV commercials across the country that reach very specific audiences. One of its early goals after being purchased last June was to place more emphasis on assisting advertisers who want to use predefined sets of data to align commercials with particular audiences and content.

This isn’t NBCU’s first step in these waters. Over the past two years, the company has made programmatic buying available to advertising clients for its digital video and display inventory. Others have experimented as well. In 2014 Disney’s ABC said it would test programmatic buying for online video inventory.

Under the plan, advertisers and media buyers would be able to develop ad schedules through a private exchange by using a combination of their own data, third-party data sources and NBCUniversal’s television inventory.

Advertisers do not have to buy a certain amount of ad inventory to gain access to programmatic purchases, Lovinger said.

 

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content