The CEO at UKTV, one of the leading commercial channel groups in the UK with a near-8% share of commercial impacts (among adults) across its seven-channel portfolio, is open to the idea of allowing the broadcaster’s linear inventory to be used with addressable TV advertising. UKTV’s free linear channels (Dave, Drama and Yesterday) and pay linear channels (Alibi, Eden, Gold and W) carry advertising on Sky and Virgin Media, where addressable TV is possible today using AdSmart.
4Sales, the Channel 4 sales house that represents UKTV, signed a deal with Sky last year to use AdSmart for linear TV (not digital). “I imagine that as [4Sales] work through that, we will be first in the queue to find out what that means for us,” Marcus Arthur (UKTV’s CEO) told Videonet recently. Noting that UKTV is an important part of the 4Sales offer to the advertising market, he adds: “If they ‘build’ it, we will come.”
The 4Sales deal is a major boost to AdSmart as it represents the UK’s first addressable TV sales house partnership. Until now, channels available for AdSmart have been represented by Sky’s own sales organisation, Sky Media – including Viacom’s Channel 5. 4Sales also represents BT Sport. As we reported recently, addressable TV everywhere needs to grow on two axes – household reach and the number of channels carrying inventory.