Comcast Spotlight To Sell Ads For Dish On 10 RSNs

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Comcast Spotlight, Comcast's ad-sales arm, has struck a deal with Dish Network to sell the satellite operator's local advertising inventory on 10 regional sports network feeds in seven U.S. markets.

Those markets are Boston, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta and Houston. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

National Cable Communications, the spot-cable sales joint venture of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, will manage multiple-market buys for national advertisers.

Last August, NCC and DirecTV formed a similar partnership under which NCC assumes national spot representation for the satellite provider for RSNs that satellite operator offers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Charlie Thurston, president of Comcast Spotlight, said in a statement that the new venture with Dish is "an extension of our philosophy of bringing convenience and ease to the ad community. From national spot advertisers to local zone clients, being able to reach their market base through one media source, including research and electronic billing data, is the smart choice."

"Comcast Spotlight's mission over the last seven years has been to simplify the advertiser experience in placing media on pay-TV networks DMA by DMA," Thurston said, noting that the division has worked with MSOs and other pay-TV providers across its 85-market footprint.

Comcast Spotlight represents approximately 30 million subscribers nationwide, including customers of Comcast and other cable companies. Dish had 13.78 million satellite TV customers as of Sept. 30.

Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke said, "Charlie's vision from day one at Comcast Spotlight has been to streamline the advertising process in buying spot cable. This is the next logical step for the industry and is perfectly timed coming on the heels of last summer's agreements with other pay-TV providers."

Referring to the deal between NCC and DirecTV last year, NCC president Greg Schaefer said in a statement "Charlie [Thurston] was instrumental in designing the interconnect portion of NCC's earlier deals with other pay-TV providers, and this new arrangement with Dish Network is a mirror image. It's a great opportunity to expand advertisers' reach with MLB, NBA and NHL franchises."

Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin also weighed in with a statement on the deal: "Canoe is very encouraged by this announcement. This agreement is another step on the journey to turn television into a platform and for satellite to participate in the future of advanced advertising technology created by Canoe."

The 10 RSNs for which Comcast Spotlight will handle Dish's local ad sales are: Comcast SportsNet New England, New England Sports Network (NESN), Fox Sports Detroit, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Altitude Sports and Entertainment, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, and SportSouth.

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