Fox TV Stations said it made a deal to integrate Fox Flx, its over-the-top advertising product, into the Strata buying platform operated by Comcast’s FreeWheel unit.
With viewers cutting the cord and traditional TV ratings down, Fox Flx lets local and regional advertisers extend their reach and target streaming viewers.
For Fox, Flx taps into the hot market for connected TV. Other station groups, including Tegna, Cox Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and NBC have also created units selling over the top advertising.
“The entire space is seeing explosive growth,” Tom Fleming, senior VP, Fox Station Sales told Broadcasting+Cable. He didn’t say how fast Flex was expanding. “It’s been a rapidly growing tool in our arsenal,” he said.
Fox launched Flx as the pandemic was beginning in 2020. In October, it made a deal to make Flx available to buyers via Mediaocean.
Being on the Mediaocean platform gave buyers greater access to purchase flex inventory alongside traditional local inventory, said Tom Fleming, senior VP, Fox Station Sales.
“Ease of execution is important,” Fleming said. “We don’t want to be cumbersome to do business with. Mediaocean was certainly a step in that direction.”
While Mediaocean is used mainly by the bigger conglomerate agencies, Strata has a strong niche with 1,100 local and regional agencies, and handles about 25% of all U.S. ad spending, Fleming said.
“It’s a good fit with our footprint. We have 18 stations all over the country. We want to be everything to everyone, from the conglomerate agencies down to smaller or regional-type shops as well. Strata is a big step forward for that effort.”
Fox Flex has been integrated into Strata’s spot TV buying module, making it easy for spot buyers to make OTT and CTV transactions using the same tools they use for traditional local TV. to plan and buy campaigns, request avails, send electronic orders and request electronic invoices.
Fleming said that Fox Flx now covers 100% of DMAs on top of Fox’s station footprint. Flex offers advertisers 6,000 targeting parameters and 150 quality video partners, including content from the Fox Stations, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment, Fox News and the Tubi streaming service.
Fox Flx is sold by a combination of Fox’s national sales organization and the local stations.
“We can target down to zip codes, we can reach an entire state outside of our station DMA footprint. It’s just given us a much more powerful footprint across the country.,” Fleming said.
Fox Flx could wind up on more buying platforms. “We’re searching on a daily basis for ways to make it easier for our customers to execute,” he said. “More importantly, we want to drive results that are quantifiable. Anything that adds to that equation, we’re going to be looking at closely.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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