ABC gives affiliates more local ad airtime

Expect more political ads on primetime, less telecom

ABC and its TV station affiliates will in late October roll out a new system that allows them to swap advertising time during periods of high demand, such as the holiday shopping season or the runup to the midterm elections, which has left TV ad inventory a scarce resource.

In the past, networks oversaw the majority of commercial time during primetime, dictating 10 to 12 minutes for national advertisers and just two to three minutes to local TV stations.

But according to the new arrangement, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, networks will give more advertising time to affiliates, opening the doors for more local advertising -- and likely ramping up political ads during midterm elections, and local store ads during the holidays. Viewers will see less telecom and financial ads as a result, according to the paper.

The newly coined "Inventory Exchange System" is designed to make more money through ad sales.

The new system "addresses the basic tenet of supply-and-demand by taking advantage of pricing differentials and marketplace dynamics among various regions, markets and stations," ABC said in a statement.

Bill Hoffman, general manager of WSB in Atlanta, said the new system, designed by a computer program, "looks to be a real winner for both sides," the paper said.
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