Sinclair wants to build an ad-selling co-op for TV stations

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Sinclair Broadcast Group is looking to establish a programmatic advertising co-operative for TV stations in order to help aggregate and sell inventory with an expanded reach.

According to TVNewsCheck, the group, dubbed OxMyx, would be independent and participating station groups would be given equity and voting rights.

Robert Malandra, Sinclair's VP of advanced revenue development and analytics, likened OxMyx to growers’ co-ops like Ocean Spray and said the goal would be to reach new markets. Sinclair said it’s been in talks regarding OxMyx with “six to seven” of the largest station groups in the country.

By combining and selling inventory from different station groups, Sinclair expects OxMyx could reach almost 80% of the country and give station groups a better chance of competing with large broadcasters selling ad inventory on a nationwide basis.

Sinclair competitors like Raycom told TVNewsCheck that they are evaluating the opportunity, but consultancy firms like BIA/Kelsey warned that in-market station competition and varying corporate cultures could make it difficult to get all the necessary station groups into agreement on how to operate an ad sales co-op.

RELATED: Sinclair VP: ATSC 3.0 will allow us to ditch Nielsen, save millions

Sinclair has been testing ATSC 3.0-enabled technologies and has been a vocal proponent of the standards, which are likely to be finalized by the start of NAB’s annual show in April. The standards are comprised of sections including PHY, delivery, personalization and security. From there it’s broken out into standards at various stages of completion, including signaling and service usage reporting.

For Sinclair, the prospect of data collection and sales of targeted ads is top of mind as broadcasters consider the upcoming ATSC 3.0 standard suite.

Sinclair and its subsidiary One Media 3.0 said that they would be shifting their ATSC 3.0 development focus toward receiver design and data collection.

"This is about knowing the truth regarding who is watching, what they're watching and when they're watching," said David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair, in a statement. "Data gathering, measurement and behavior is too important for us not to have a reliable system and there is an immediacy to have this in place to coincide with the rollout of ATSC 3.0. Sinclair and One Media 3.0 intend to build it and make it available to the industry. We are currently working with device manufacturers and will shortly identify a test market in which to conduct live field trials."