NBC Universal and Microsoft Form National and Local TV Advertising Alliance

NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash. — June 18, 2009 — NBC Universal and Microsoft Corp. today announced a landmark deal to use Microsoft’s Admira television media marketplace to more efficiently plan and sell national and local broadcast and cable television advertising inventory.

The deal comes on the heels of a successful test of Admira launched by the NBC Local Media group in March to buy and sell local television advertising inventory in Los Angeles. NBCU will make available select inventory from both its national broadcast and cable networks for the alliance, which is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009.

NBCU will deploy Admira in two ways. For larger advertisers, Admira will enhance NBCU’s existing agency relationships by providing new planning tools for data-driven targeting and segmenting of specific audiences across its broadcast and cable television networks. For small to midsize clients, Admira will enable an automated planning, buying, posting and billing process across many of NBCU’s national broadcast and select local TV properties.

“This is all about improving ROI for clients and experimenting with next-generation metrics and processes,” said Mike Pilot, president, Sales and Marketing, NBC Universal. “Admira can help clients efficiently plan, buy and engage specific audience segments across the breadth of our broadcast and cable properties, enhancing the close relationships we have with all of our agency and client partners.”

By aggregating multiple sources of anonymous viewership data from across satellite and cable systems and overlaying that with purchase and geo-demographic data, Admira creates a unique national panel that it uses to help advertisers reach their desired audience composition. As a result, advertisers and agencies can buy audiences that might have otherwise been overlooked by other television advertising platforms and measurement technologies. Admira continuously optimizes ad placements in response to near-real-time viewership data to help ensure advertisers get the right messages in front of the right audiences.

“NBC Local Media began testing the Admira system in March with inventory from L.A.’s Universal Sports Network digital channel and added inventory from KNBC, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, in the spring,” Frank Comerford, president, Platform Development and Commercial Operations, NBC Local Media, added. “Our initial test of the system in L.A. is off to a great start. Admira provides us with the potential to help attract an entirely new segment of advertisers to the local marketplace, particularly small and midsize businesses that might not otherwise be able to buy local television station advertising, which is a huge leap forward.”

“Teaming with NBCU brings the planning, buying and selling of television inventory squarely into the digital realm,” said Scott Howe, corporate vice president of the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft, the platform and monetization engine for Microsoft Advertising. “Data-driven software is going to continue serving as a catalyst to help advertisers solve their biggest media challenges. Moreover, it’s validation of Microsoft Advertising’s vision to help advertisers and publishers engage with consumers on any screen, anywhere, at any time.”

VivaKi, the Publicis Groupe operation that encompasses Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas, will be among the first agencies to use Admira to help its clients plan and buy media when Admira rolls out later this year. “We are excited to use Admira in our media planning and buying process,” said Jack Klues, managing partner for VivaKi. “The Admira product delivers an enhanced level of forecasting, planning and execution to data-driven media buys, and this equips our media teams to make more strategic investments that improve our client’s performance and ROI. It is a technologically enhanced approach that respects the essential elements of our marketplace and maintains a level playing field between buyer and seller.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About NBC Universal

NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

About Microsoft’s Admira

Navic, a Microsoft company, developed Admira, which is a sophisticated media buying marketplace that uses real-time audience measurement data to optimize the delivery and placement of television advertising. Navic has been a leader in advertising and interactive television technology to the cable and direct broadcast satellite television industry. More information is available at http://admira.navic.tv.

About Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers and publishers with media, tools and services to drive deep and profitable engagement with their audiences. This includes a global media network of all of Microsoft’s digital advertising businesses: MSN, Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox LIVE, Live Search and more; Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Suites, which simplify planning and management of campaigns and content; and a range of services that help advertisers and publishers untangle the complexities of digital media and get more out of their marketing and content investments. Microsoft Advertising makes buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices in the Microsoft network of properties and beyond. Visit http://advertising.microsoft.com for more information.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.

Related Posts