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Comcast Spotlights Ad Sales

Comcast Corp. has redubbed its ad-sales unit Comcast Spotlight, putting more marketing dollars behind the top MSO’s effort to get cable a bigger share of the ad-sales business.

Vice president of marketing and communications Vicki Lins said a major goal of the effort is to help narrow the divide with local broadcasters, which generate more ad revenue from selling local spots than cable operators do.

Comcast also wants to show off its ability to let advertisers insert ads on local cable systems through regional and national media buys, and the MSO is eager to help programmers generate ad sales for video-on-demand programming.

"We’re really pushing to build a new media brand for Comcast and, postdeal, the size and scope of our business allows us to compete on an entirely different level with broadcasters than has ever been experienced in the spot-cable arena before," Lins said.

Comcast generated about $1 billion in local ad sales in 2003.

CEO Brian Roberts and Comcast Cable Communications Inc. president Steve Burke have set the bar high for their ad-sales crew, looking to double local-ad-sales revenue to $2 billion by 2007.

Steve Donohue has more on page one of Monday’s Multichannel News.