From adversaries to ad sales partners

NCC to represent DirecTV sports nets in nine markets

In what's being touted as a major breakthrough for the advertising industry, spot cable broker NCC is teaming with erstwhile adversary DirecTV to represent the satellite giant's regional sports networks in nine major U.S. markets.

NCC will integrate select RSN feeds, currently offered to DirecTV subscribers, into cable advertising interconnects in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. All but two of the markets are among the top 10 in the U.S.

"This is terrific news for both local and national advertisers," said Greg Schaefer, president of NCC, which is owned by Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. "Combining DirecTV's audience with our cable interconnects expands our reach and strengthens our targeted offering. And ad agencies benefit from the single point of contact we will provide both locally and nationally."

The NCC-DirecTV pact marks the first time that wired cable and DBS have joined forces in the ad-sales marketplace.

"The ability to leverage DirecTV's leadership position in sports programming with NCC's regional and local sales expertise creates an exciting partnership and a one-stop shop for advertisers," said Bob Riordan, senior vp advertising sales at DirecTV. "Working with NCC will give us an opportunity to expand our product offering beyond a national platform and give our advertising partners even more choices to reach their target market in a simple and seamless manner."

Based in New York, NCC represents virtually every multisystem cable operator in the country for spot cable ad sales.