Comcast and Verizon Communications are going into business together - on the advertising front, anyway.
Comcast Spotlight, the cable company's ad-sales arm, announced a deal Wednesday with Verizon Communications, under which it will sell local advertising on FiOS TV in at least 10 markets, where both Comcast and Verizon currently provide television service.
Under the agreement, Comcast Spotlight will represent FiOS TV in markets including Baltimore, Boston, Fort Wayne, Ind., Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., Richmond, Va., Seattle and Washington, D.C., selling local advertising on more than 50 ad-supported cable networks.
"Even as we and Verizon compete in other areas of our businesses, we both recognize the value of being partners in the advertising business and the importance of streamlining the way advertisers buy spot cable," Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke said in a statement. "This is a natural fit for both companies and complements the similar agreements we've made with a number of other video distributors."
Added Richard Williams, Verizon's executive director of advertising sales, ""This arrangement with Comcast Spotlight provides advertisers with a simple way to reach viewers. We want to make doing business with Verizon easy for advertisers, and this helps us achieve that objective."
National Cable Communications, the spot-cable sales organization owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, will manage multiple-market buys on both the Comcast and FiOS TV services for national advertisers.
The agreement with Verizon "enables both companies to best meet the needs of advertisers of all sizes," Comcast Spotlight president Charlie Thurston said in a statement. "The convenience of a single media source to reach the largest possible audience is what marketers and agencies are asking for, and it's what we're delivering through agreements like this one."
Comcast Spotlight has a separate deal with Dish Network to sell local ad inventory on regional sports networks, and NCC has an agreement with DirecTV to sell local ads on certain RSNs.
Comcast Spotlight currently represents approximately 30 million subscribers nationwide, including customers of Comcast and other television providers