Denver -- The two major spot-cable rep firms and the
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau are preparing for the spot-sales equivalent of the
networks' upfront marketplace this fall.
National Cable Communications, Cable Networks Inc. and the
CAB will kick off their joint seven-market breakfast sales presentations in October,
meeting with key advertisers and ad-agency spot buyers.
Since roughly 40 percent of spot cable is bought out of New
York, Steve Houck, NCC's vice president of affiliate relations, said 60 percent is
being placed outside of that city. Therefore, attention to the major spot markets beyond
the Big Apple is "long overdue," he added.
One of the primary points that the reps want to drive home
is that the old bugaboo -- that spot cable is too difficult and complicated to buy -- no
longer applies, due to advances in digital ad insertion and electronic data interchange.
The spot sellers will also hammer away at cable's ongoing growth in viewership and
increases in original programming.
The joint NCC/CNI pitch undoubtedly will fuel the
persistent rumors about the eventual creation of a "superrep," but Houck was
among executives at both companies who dismissed the speculation as unfounded.