Operators ponder potential pot of gold with advanced advertising services

As TV viewers atomize amid proliferate on-demand programming choices, and networks, advertisers and audience researchers desperately try to keep up with it all, pay-TV companies are finding themselves in a unquietly advantageous position.

As FierceCable's latest special report shows, the addressable, targeted promise posed by armies of advanced set-tops is finally beginning to pay off for operators, as both advertisers and programmers approach them for fresh insight on next-generation video consumers.

Indeed, having millions of advanced set-tops gather "census-level" data on how much viewers customers earn, how old they are, what they drive and how many pets they have is a valuable asset to companies including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and TiVo, just to name a few. 

According to top executives running ad-sales units for leading operators, revenue from advanced advertising services provided to national brands and programmers isn't showing up yet in places you'd expect during earnings calls.

"But over the last 18 months, it has grown to be a pretty big part of our data business," said Ben Tatta, president of Cablevision Media Sales.

How big?

It was recently reported that Comcast turned down a $100 million offer from Nielsen for an exclusive license to its set-top data. 

You can read FierceCable's report on this potentially explosive new revenue source here