TVB ePort Passes $200 Million Mark

Abby Auerbach of TVBTVB said Thursday that buyers have placed orders with stations using its fledgling electronic buy-and-sell system worth a cumulative $200 million. Broken down, some 20,000 orders have been sent to 845 stations and national rep firms since ePort's 2008 launch.

"This is an important milestone on the way to our goal of developing local broadcast television's equivalent of the interstate highway system," said TVB Executive Vice President Abby Auerbach.

She said that agencies and advertisers--97 so far--are increasingly using the system, which aims to cut down on paperwork, speed the buying process and reduce discrepancies between what is purchased and delivered.

As the local station business struggles with a dismal economy, some buyers have said the medium is also exceedingly cumbersome to buy, marking another hurdle.

"We want every buyer in the country to connect electronically with every television station and/or rep firm--and make our medium the easiest to buy," Auerbach said.

Ultimately, TVB aims for ePort to serve as a widely used platform for the entire continuum of the buying process, stretching from proposal to invoice. In addition, it can help link up incompatible electronic systems used by buyers and sellers.

Horizon Media, which uses media management software from Strata Marketing, has executed revisions and makegoods as well as orders with ePort. Horizon senior vice president Nancy Larkin said that testing has reduced discrepancies by more than 50%.

Much like Strata, vendors MediaBank and One Domain are also developing ePort interfaces, TVB said.

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