Cablevision Data To Drive MSG Nets Ad Addressable Pilot

The Madison Square Garden Co. is going analytical with Cablevision, which could lead to its two regional sports networks becoming household addressable within the MSO’s footprint.

The companies are teaming on initiatives that will supply MSG with insights stemming from Cablevision’s set-top box, census-level audience data, which the operator bowed early in 2013.

Under the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, MSG is planning a pilot with Cablevision to test making its MSG and MSG+ RSNs household addressable for advertisers within its New York DMA footprint. Under this program, the RSNs would use this capability, in conjunction with the data analytics, to enable them to selectively segment their audience and serve them with different ads for effective targeted marketing, sponsorship and sales campaigns. A time frame for the pilot's launch has not yet been set, according to MSG.

Additionally, MSG will use the analytics to optimize television viewing, as well as ad placement and pricing. The information will also inform marketing campaigns to drive ticket sales, and engage advertisers and sponsorships as means to grow its customer base.

The announcement comes as MSG, previously owned by Cablevision, has approved a plan to explore a spin-off that would separate its live entertainment venues like Madison Square Garden and The Forum in Los Angeles, from its pro sports teams and its MSG Networks.

The MSO, which has long been in the vanguard of addressable advertising, said it introduced census-level audience data early last year to support audience discovery, media planning and campaign optimization for programmers and other advertisers. Census-level audience data, when combined with addressable TV advertising, enables marketers to precisely target audiences and is based on Cablevision's aggregated, de-identified data from millions of households in the New York market. The DMA’s preeminent distributor says it utilizes multiple administrative, technical and physical security measures to ensure privacy compliance.

“Improved measurement and analytics can be used companywide to help us achieve our goals – whether it’s understanding our fans and viewers or recruiting new customers,” said Tad Smith, president and CEO of MSG. “Having the right information is a critical step to our helping our sales partners ensure they get the right message to the right audience. We believe in the importance of using data analytics to drive growth and will continue to explore additional opportunities to expand upon this strategy.”