Spot Cable Sales Up Dramatically

Nationwide spot cable buys are on track for a year of strong growth, with revenues up 16% so far over last year and Q4 sales projected to increase by almost 30%.

National Cable Communications, which claims to be the largest spot-cable rep firm, projects the year to be up around 20% over 2001, although detailed data wasn’t available. NCC recently broke the half-billion dollar mark in revenues.

Andrew Ward, executive vice president, attributes the growth to NCC’s investment in new technology, its success in attracting new advertisers to spot cable and cable’s ratings growth. Ninety of the top 100 national spot advertisers used spot cable between January and June of 2002. Five years ago, only 25 used spot cable.

Half of the firm’s 2002 sales growth has come from new advertisers in several categories: Travel and tourism, beverage, pharmaceutical, retail, insurance, health care and financial services. Ward says the NCC and cable networks have been able to create local promotional opportunities too.



Ward says the technical improvements allow advertisers to leverage their assets using cable without the perils of poor execution. NCC has improved its market interconnection, switched to electronic billing and developed tools for planning that make it easier than ever to buy spot cable. More than 50 markets are interconnected and NCC expects 75 by the end of 2003.

“It’s a single point execution: One tape, one contract and a single point of contact,” he says.

Ward says cable represents the single largest share of TV viewing in every market of the country. He also says spot cable opportunities can target by many demographics: children, women, men and by age group. Spot cable’s market interconnection can also target by geography. NCC claims a reach of more than 60 million cable homes and 200 markets nationwide. It’s owned by MSOs Comcast Cable Communications, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and AT&T Media Services plus rep firm Katz Media Group. Clients can purchase all 60 million homes in a spot buy or segment their market on the national basic cable networks that accept local spot advertising.

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