DirecTV Inks Spot-Ad Pact With Cable's NCC Media

DirecTV is teaming with NCC Media -- the ad-sales company owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications -- to bring the satellite TV operator to the spot-advertising market for the first time and providing the ability to expand an ad's coverage in 25 select markets.

DirecTV and NCC are testing their combined spot-ad platforms and expect they will be operational in the second half of 2011, the companies announced Tuesday.

Inventory on the combined ad platform will be sold by NCC's sales force in 16 offices across the country, as well as by the local interconnect sales teams of Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable, according to NCC Media president and CEO Greg Schaefer.

Under the deal, DirecTV will integrate its targeted-ad system with existing local market cable advertising interconnects. The DirecTV ad system, being developed with Invidi Technologies, stores zone-targeted ads on a DVR and is able to insert them in local breaks across multiple cable networks.

"This is a powerful and exciting partnership combining DirecTV's technological prowess in delivering nationally targeted advanced television services with NCC's experienced leadership in spot sales," Bob Riordan, DirecTV senior vice president of advertising sales, said in a statement.

Added Schaefer, "Combining DirecTV's ad impressions with those of our cable market interconnects will deliver a tremendous advantage to advertisers -- greater local reach and penetration against targeted consumers in the best programming on television."

NCC and DirecTV previously have worked together to sell advertising on select regional sports networks.

NCC Media changed its name from National Cable Communications earlier this year.