ABC Owned Stations Shift to Using Impressions to Sell Ads

Debra OConnell Disney ABC Stations
Debra OConnell (Image credit: Disney)

ABC Owned Television Stations said it is officially shifting to selling TV advertising based on impressions rather than traditional ratings, continuing a trend that has been running through the local advertising market.

“Today, the ABC Owned Television Stations provide best in class content that serves our communities on a variety of video platforms, including linear, digital and OTT," said Debra O'Connell, president, networks at The Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution unit. "Marketers with local strategies want to build multiplatform campaigns and need a common currency to do so effectively. Using an impressions-based currency to evaluate, sell and buy local broadcast video enables us to offer our advertisers full visibility into local audiences and extends the overall reach of their messaging across platforms. The ABC Owned Television Stations fully support the adoption of impressions as the currency for local broadcast TV.”

The Television Bureau of Advertising the trade group representing local broadcast, has been pushing for the currency shift since 2019. The move to impressions was designed to help local stations compete for ad dollars as spending increases on digital and cross-media campaigns.

The ABC stations were among the first station groups to support the TVB's stance on impressions.

NBCUniversal announced a similar switch in 2019, but it didn’t become official until April of this year.

Hearst Television has been selling based on impressions for about a year.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.