Bright House Forms Tampa Ad Interconnect With FiOS TV, Comcast And Viamedia

In the latest example of pay-TV rivals linking arms to boost ad revenue, Bright House Networks has signed agreements with Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Spotlight and Viamedia (which sells ads on behalf of FiOS TV and cable operator Knology) to form an advertising interconnect in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., market, covering 40 cable networks.

The Tampa Bay Interconnect (TBI) will reach approximately 80% of the total TV households in the market, as measured by Nielsen. Bright House Media Strategies, the MSO's ad-sales arm, said it is now selling ads to start airing in the first quarter of 2012.

According to the companies, the agreement creates one point of contact for planning, placement and billing to let advertisers reach viewers in the U.S.'s 14th-largest TV market.

"This interconnect provides advertisers trying to reach the Tampa television market with a streamlined approach to purchasing cable advertising," Todd Stewart, corporate vice president of advertising sales for Bright House, said in a statement. "Bright House Media Strategies is continually looking for ways to make things easier and more effective for its advertisers, and TBI adds tremendous value to our national and regional spot advertising offerings across the market."

NCC Media, the national spot-ad sales rep firm owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, will continue to serve national advertisers looking to place campaigns in the Tampa / St. Petersburg / Sarasota TV market using the Tampa Bay Interconnect.

Bright House, Comcast and Viamedia will continue to sell local zone advertising in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market individually within their respective local sales offices.

Cable operators have teamed up with telco and satellite TV providers in other markets to provide greater reach to local and regional advertisers. NCC's I+ initiative, for example, provides a pool of nationwide inventory across MSOs, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse TV and FiOS TV.