Top Interconnects Sales Rise 140%

Publish date:
Updated on

The three top-10 interconnects managed by spot-cable rep
firm National Cable Communications reported their year-to-date sales growth at more than
40 percent, NCC said last week.

Ken Little, NCC's senior vice president of technology and
operations, said in a phone interview last Thursday that the three NCC-run interconnects
he oversees -- in Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. -- are enjoying boom times, but so
are others.

"Not only the three NCC interconnects, but most
top-market interconnects are all outpacing the general growth of national spot [sales] by
a significant margin," Little said.

Figuring spot cable's pace for the year so far at "30
percent-plus," Little said, "Fully functional interconnects are up 40 percent to
45 percent year-to-date."

Some cable sources cautioned that spot cable's growth is
coming off a relatively small base. The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau hasn't released
any spot-sales estimates for 1999 yet, but it reported that full-year-1998 spot revenues
soared by 39.4 percent, to $337.4 million.

Still, Little said, "The impact interconnects have
made on spot cable has been significant."

Along with providing a single point of entry for
advertisers, interconnects' growth factors include digital ad insertion, electronic data
interface and a batch of hot ad categories. Entertainment/media, financial/insurance and
grocery retailers are three sectors showing sharp cable-spending increases.

Industry sources estimated that the Chicago Cable
Interconnect is on track to exceed $36 million in sales for 1999. It ranks fifth in terms
of subscribers, at 1.7 million.

At the Greater Washington Interconnect, Don Murphy,
chairman of the governing board, put its year-to-date pace "at about the same,
approximately 40 percent," and he said the interconnect was likely to amass $20
million by year's end.

Industry sources projected that AdNex Detroit would finish
this year at slightly below GWI's dollar level. AdNex and GWI also are among the top 10
interconnects, with about 1 million subscribers each.

Advertisers' spots can run simultaneously throughout each
of NCC's three hardwired fiber-optic interconnects, and on any combination of their
insertable networks.

The New York Interconnect, with about 3.5 million
subscribers, is seeing brisk year-to-date sales, according to president David Kline at
Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp. (RASCO), which runs the operation.

At 3.1 million-subscriber Los Angeles interconnect Adlink
-- by far the largest interconnect in terms of ad sales -- president and CEO Charlie
Thurston recently projected that 1999 ad volume would soar nearly $17 million to $100
million, a new peak.