Sinclair Broadcast Group Aims to Sell Ads Based on Impressions

Brian Steinberg
·2-min read

Sinclair Broadcast Group said Tuesday it intends to start selling its linear and digital ad inventory based on a “common impression-based currency,” joining the ranks of other local-station owners moving to change the nature of their transactions with Madison Avenue as technology spurs new ways consumers watch their video favorites.

Sinclair, which owns and/or operates 21 regional sports networks and owns, operates and/or provides services to 186 television stations in 87 markets, has struck a pact with Operative Media that will make available all its inventory via a single ad-sales system. More local-TV purveyors have begun to turn to sales based on overall viewer impressions rather than continuing to rely on traditional TV ratings.

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“We already provide a unique opportunity for marketers to engage consumers of all kinds, and Operative’s technology will further consolidate and simplify our sales process,” said Rob Weisbord, president of broadcast for Sinclair and its chief advertising revenue officer, in a prepared statement. “It will bring this concept to our markets in a way that is easily managed by our various sellers and the portfolios of inventory they represent. It will provide them flexibility to dynamically manage audience and spend allocations across Sinclair’s broad asset catalog.”

With TV viewers migrating to streaming video on demand and mobile content, the TV ratings stations and their sponsors have used for years have dwindled. Some local programs no longer sustain ratings measurement. Use of impressions – the actual number of people watching, rather than the percentage of possible viewers who tuned in – would give advertisers a more granular look at local station viewership.

The ad-tech partnership also provides automated integrations with key buying systems that shorten the time it takes to develop plans, deliver reports and invoices to customers, and also significantly reduce discrepancies between buyers and sellers by passing all data electronically between the buy and sell systems. “This new platform will empower advertisers with the ability to optimize campaigns across Sinclair’s distinguished portfolio of content, while altering the way the industry does business — paving the way for other media companies in the process,” said Brian Bark, CIO of Sinclair, in a prepared statement.

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