TBA Gets Net, Rep Support For ePort

The Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) drew major support for its ePort electronic data exchange system, signing up all major TV sales rep firms to the service.

ABC National Television Sales, Blair Television, Fox Station Sales, HRP, Katz Media Group, MMT Sales, Petry Television and Telerep have joined previously announced rep groups CBS Station Sales and NBC Station Sales.

Starting in November, any ad agency can place its TV orders on the ePort system for any media deals that begin in first-quarter 2008.

According to one TV executive, getting the rep firms "was the lynchpin." To some they were the "gatekeepers" that control the bulk of national spot revenue dollars.

TVB also announced that Cox Television stations, and Fox's KTTV Los Angeles and WNYW New York, also signed on to the ePort system. Until recently, no Fox stations were even TVB members. The rest of the Fox station group expects to become members of the trade-advertising group in the coming months, as well as ePort members.

There are now some 28 TV station groups committed to ePort. The project, announced on Feb. 21, comes with financial support from the National Association of Broadcasters, as well as other funding from broadcast groups and rep firms.

Unlike the new controversial eBay auction system for national TV advertisers and networks, the ePort system isn't a system for price negotiation. It is a system that helps clean up massive back-office TV paperwork that comes after a TV ad order has been placed.

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