Cable Interconnect Teams Up with DirecTV

National Cable Communications -- the spot-cable-advertising giant owned by operators Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable -- formed an innovative advertising and technology partnership with satellite competitor DirecTV to sell spots on select regional sports networks.

Under the agreement, announced Monday by NCC president Greg Schaefer and DirecTV senior vice president of advertising sales Bob Riordan, NCC will integrate select RSN feeds currently offered to DirecTV subscribers into cable-advertising interconnects in nine major U.S. markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. NCC will also assume national-spot-sales representation of DirecTV’s RSNs in these markets.

"This is terrific news for both local and national advertisers,” Schaeffer said in a statement. “Combining DirecTV's audience with our cable interconnects expands our reach and strengthens our targeted offering. And ad agencies benefit from the single point of contact we will provide both locally and nationally. Combining wired cable with satellite is a major breakthrough for the advertising industry.”

Riordan said the partnership will create a “one-stop shop for advertisers” and allow DirecTV to target advertisers beyond a simply national basis.

Cable operators, NCC and DirecTV have been working together for some time to create the new cooperative model for regional-sports buys, said Charlie Thurston, president of Comcast advertising arm Comcast Spotlight.

"Cable operators have made many advancements in working with NCC to offer truly effective planning and buying for advertisers that want to reach cable's ever-growing audience," Thurston said in a statement. “And this ground-breaking announcement with DirecTV signifies another major step forward in media sales."

The partnerships and integration of advertising should be executed over the next few weeks on the following networks:

· Atlanta: FSN South (Comcast), SportsSouth (Comcast);

· Boston: CSN New England (Comcast), NESN (Comcast);

· Chicago: CSN Chicago (Comcast);

· Dallas: FSN SW Dallas (Time Warner);

· Denver: Altitude (Comcast), FSN Rocky Mountain (Comcast);

· Detroit: FSN Detroit (Comcast);

· Houston: FSN SW Houston (Comcast);

· Los Angeles: FSN Prime Ticket (Adlink), FSN West (Adlink); and

· San Francisco: FSN Bay Area (Comcast).