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Comcast Grows to 10 Ad-Sales Interconnects

As Comcast Corp. eyes the imminent addition of Washington, D.C., and Detroit to its stable of ad-sales interconnects, the MSO's top sales executive is looking ahead to future growth.

The two hardwired ad-sales interconnects will give the MSO 10 in total. Comcast's other top-10 DMA operation is MarketLink Philadelphia, which last June "went hard," which means it enabled one-stop shopping for advertisers and the simultaneous DMA-wide airing of spots.

Comcast senior vice president of ad sales Roger Sverdlik last week said he's talked with Time Warner Cable in Detroit and Cox Communications Inc. in greater Washington about eventually placing all of the interconnects under the MarketLink brand.

The MSO has already converted its Baltimore sales operation into a hard interconnect. It's to be soon followed by New Mexico; Fort Myers, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and two other Tennessee DMAs, Sverdlik said.

Through various swaps, Comcast accounts for nearly 90 percent of the Detroit DMA and 70 percent of the nation's capital. In Baltimore, AT & T Broadband will have a piece of the interconnect for a few more months.

Executive shuffles generally accompany such change. In Motown, AdNex Detroit general manager Wayne Hindmarsh resigned. At the Greater Washington Interconnect, Chuck Cowdrey is no longer general manager, according to those close to the situation.

Sverdlik deferred comment to National Cable Communications, as the spot-cable rep firm is still managing those two interconnects until Comcast takes over later in the first quarter.

At a future point, Sverdlik said, there could be the potential to link up some interconnects.

"There probably could be some unique, creative sales ideas, like selling Amtrak on Baltimore/Washington/Philadelphia, or a regional restaurant on a Northeastern or Midwest buy," he said.