Fox TV taps WideOrbit for open programmatic ad sales marketplace

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Fox Television Stations is partnering with WideOrbit to offer ad buyers programmatic access to local broadcast inventory.

The deal will enable three buying models: an open marketplace to facilitate programmatic offers on Fox stations-controlled ad inventory; programmatic direct to automate transactions with selected buying partners; and an integration with CoreMedia Systems for direct response ad buyers to place orders programmatically, according to a news release.

“Based on our tests over the last year, we are convinced that programmatic advertising will be a complementary additional sales channel for our stations. Opening a programmatic sales channel is a clear win for everyone involved in the media buying process and we’re proud to be the first network owned-and-operated group to offer it to our buying partners,” said Jim Burke, president of sale at Fox Television, in a statement.

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“Fox’s embrace of programmatic advertising shows that it is committed to setting up its stations to capitalize on new revenue opportunities and offering its customers robust solutions for making better audience targeting decisions and automating processes,” said Eric Mathewson, founder and CEO of WideOrbit, in a statement.

Fox Television, which includes 28 stations in 17 markets and covers more than 37% of U.S. television homes, says it’s the largest U.S. broadcasting group to commit publicly to programmatic.

RELATED: Local programmatic ad spending to reach $37.6B by 2021, BIA/Kelsey says

Fox is moving ahead with programmatic ad sales at a time when some analyst firms are predicting big growth for the space. Spending on targeted ads in local video will grow by $5 billion to $37.6 billion in 2021, according to a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey.

“The innovation being displayed in local TV and programmatic is becoming more widespread,” said Rick Ducey, managing director of BIA/Kelsey, in a statement. “Our latest research reveals the landscape of programmatic players is growing more complex as companies offer more cross-platform and cross-functional solutions. These developments are being supported by new alliances and partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and sophisticated product roadmaps. When you step back and examine the possibilities, any movement of local TV toward programmatic buying and selling will significantly impact the amount of spending and could win more spending that might have gone to digital.”

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