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ABC-Affiliate Spot-Swap to Go Both Ways

While ABC affiliates can now buy extra spots from the network during high-demand (read: election season) times, it appears that the network will also be able to buy the stations’ spots–including those held by ABC’s 10 owned stations-as part of its new “Inventory Exchange System (IES),” reportsMediaPost.

Writes David Goetzl:

[ABC network CFO] Jim Hedges did not offer a timeline for turning the fledgling “inventory exchange system” (IES) into a back-and-forth platform, but said “we’re pretty close.” The mechanisms are in place; the system “we built will enable us to go one way or the other, either buying or selling,” Hedges said.

“It’s a very smart approach to looking at what is the best use of the inventory,” said Darrell K. Brown, head of McGraw-Hill Broadcasting. “Is it to sell it in the [network)] market or sell it in the local market … how can we best leverage the inventory we [both] have?”

Goetzl does a nice job of breaking down how the system works, and what sort of affiliate buy-in IES has had out of the gate.

“We’ve done just like we wanted to do with the extra spots,” said WSB general manager Bill Hoffman [who is also ABC affiliates chairman]. “It’s been productive for us.”