By: K.C. Neel - Zonewire
For local businesses, Comcast Spotlight's I+ initiative offers the same benefits it delivers to national/regional spot advertisers: unified market coverage across several pay-TV operations with a single point of purchase. Here's K.C. Neel's look at the I+ debut in its first market, Houston.
When Comcast Spotlight launched I+ in its Houston market in August, the local cable ad sales staff had already been immersed in the project for several months. With satellite and telcos grabbing larger customer-centric market shares, it made sense to join forces to sell advertising space. After all, local cable account executives had long been hamstrung by a slow decline in household penetration even as more and more people were watching multichannel programming. At the same time, rival telco and satellite TV providers with even less market coverage faced significant challenges in courting advertisers for their local inventory. I+ was born.
Comcast launched I+ in Houston because it was one of AT&T U-verse's largest markets and was close to AT&T's Dallas headquarters, explains Jeff Carroll, Comcast Spotlight's regional vice president in charge of the Houston market. The addition of the U-verse and DirecTV homes to Comcast's universe allowed Spotlight's ad sales staff to sell ads into 62% of Houston's households vs. the 40% reach Comcast had alone, Carroll points out.