A&E Television Networks struck a deal with Microsoft, under which AETN will use Microsoft's Admira TV advertising marketplace to sell a portion of its inventory on three networks -- Bio, History International and History en Espanol -- starting in April.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Beginning in the second quarter of 2010, AETN will make available select inventory from its national Bio and History International channels, which are available in more than 47 million U.S. households, and its History en Espanol channel, which is in 29 million U.S. households.
Last June, NBCU signed a similar deal with Microsoft to sell "select" national and local advertising inventory for broadcast and cable networks through Admira, starting in the fourth quarter of 2009.
In a statement, Microsoft said, "Over the past six months since our announcement with NBCU, Admira has gradually expanded its inventory footprint across the NBCU family of networks. Our agreement with AETN further validates the use of set-top box data to sell television inventory on a national scale and of Microsoft's Admira marketplace to enable programmers to better monetize their inventory through data-driven media buying."
Microsoft's Admira will use aggregated, anonymized cable and satellite set-top box viewership data to let ad buyers match their audience targets with the right times across participating AETN programs. In addition, AETN's sales force will use Admira as a planning, reporting and verification tool to construct customized media plans.
"We knew from the start we wanted to collaborate with Microsoft and Admira," said Michael Peretz, AETN's senior vice president for sales revenue management. "Admira's dynamic solution will allow us to simplify the sale of our inventory and allow advertisers to benefit from the near-real-time set-top box viewership data to find the audiences they're looking for across our networks and platforms. Models like Admira are the future of selling television."
AETN is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal.
The Admira system was developed by Navic Networks, which Microsoft acquired in 2008 in a deal reportedly worth $230 million.