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Time Warner Cable Pushes Broadcast Advertising

Time Warner Cable is pouring on consumer marketing spending, which includes buying more commercials on local broadcast channels to reach nonsubscribers, chief operating officer Landel Hobbs said Tuesday.

Speaking at Merrill Lynch’s Media Fall Preview Conference in Marina del Rey, Calif., Hobbs said Time Warner Cable’s consumer marketing spending is growing in the mid-teens percentage-wise but remains a small 3%-3.5% of total revenue.

He added that the cable operator is conducting extensive data analysis to find where marketing spend pays off by audience segment -- Hispanics are currently a prime target -- and geography, where New York, Los Angeles and Texas are getting heavy spending.

On another topic, he said negotiations for broadcast-TV-carriage deals that expire en mass in the new year are just now getting into high gear.

Hobbs added that broadcast-TV channels “going dark” is a possibility in some DMAs. “I’d say stay tuned as we go through this process,” he said.

The biggest mass expiration of broadcast retransmission-consent deals will occur Jan. 1 or shortly thereafter due to timing of prior carriage deals.