Belo Launches Digital Trading Platform

Belo, the station group that owns the ABC affiliate in Dallas and CBS outlet in Houston, has launched an online trading platform for inventory on the Web sites linked with its stations. The marketplace is closed to a number of select buyers, which could include agency trading desks operated by major holding companies.

PubMatic, which helped launch a similar platform for Hearst Magazines, is the technology provider. The Belo Private Ad Marketplace system could employ auction-style bidding or other customized sales processes.

The platform will be used for display ads at launch, although mobile and online video inventory could be bought and sold later.

Belo says the marketplace offers the chance to reach 17 million-plus online users a month in markets that stretch from the two largest in Texas to Seattle to Norfolk. Belo Stations are affiliated with all of the Big Four networks and in nine of the country’s 25 largest markets.

The marketplace was launched to give advertisers “the opportunity to more efficiently” conduct business with the station group, stated Joe Weir, Belo’s vice president/digital.



Local stations have been increasingly trying to mount challenges to newspaper Web sites in their respective markets. In the recently completed second quarter, Belo reported double-digit increases in Internet ad sales.

Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, stated that the marketplace will allow advertisers to “engage in direct and open buys … as well as layer audience attributes to get the greatest value for each and every impression sold.”

Agency trading desks include Cadreon at Interpublic and Xaxis at WPP. VivaKi operates one at Publicis.


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