Three of the country’s largest cable providers, Comcast, Charter and Cox, are launching a shared advanced advertising unit that will design, deploy and sell ads across their national footprint. The new unit will be part of NCC Media, the advertising and sales company jointly owned by the cable firms.
Stations from groups including Fox O&Os, Sinclair, Hearst, Cox and others will air the new show from NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution this fall. The show will be co-hosted by WNBC New York contributor Ben Aaron and Bad Girls Club reality star Tanisha Thomas.
Cox Communications and LIN Media announced a new retransmission agreement Friday for WTNH and MyTV9 , just minutes before a 5 p.m. deadline imposed by the Providence-base broadcast television company. LIN Media had threatened to pull its programming from Cox’s three Connecticut cable systems if a new retransmission agreement had not been reached.
The partnership will offer a “second screen” app in early 2012, allowing viewers to tap into related content and swap comments with friends watching the same broadcast TV show at the same time. Broadcasters hope the app with lead to increased revenue, greater engagement and better tune-in promotion. Participating station groups include those of Pearl, the joint venture formed last year to pursue the mobile DTV business. They include Belo, Cox, Scripps, Gannett, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek and Raycom.
The FCC is hoping to close the digital divide by developing cheap high-speed Internet access for low-income households. Today, the commission will announce commitments from most of the big cable companies in the United States to supply access for $9.99 a month to a subset of low-income households. The low introductory price is meant to appeal to new customers who have not had broadband in the past.
As TV stations struggle to distinguish themselves with hyperlocal strategies, one old solution is looking new again. A number of station groups — including Hearst, Belo, Cox, Gannett and Scripps — are finding that the specialized, localized reporting they get from their Washington bureaus has become a differentiator for them. As the head of Cox’s bureau says: “Our sole mission is to give stations hyper-local, unique coverage they can’t find anywhere else.”