NewFronts: Cable Companies Band Together to Pitch Digital Ad Businesses

Illustration by: Paweł Jońca

Time Warner Cable Media used its NewFront event Friday to bring together Comcast Spotlight, Cox Media, Cablevision Media Sales and NCC Media to make the case why advertisers should spend their digital budgets with them.

The Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger might be dead, but the two companies still came together on Friday. 

They were joined by Cablevision, Cox Media and NCC Media at a NewFront presentation designed to encourage advertisers to spend their dollars on TV — on the Internet. 

Joan Gillman, COO and executive vp media services at Time Warner Cable, started off the midday event by noting: "Consumers connect with the highest quality TV programming, broadband and WiFi through cable. ...What is amazing about this industry is that it's innovating to use digital technologies to bring data and marry it with quality content." 

All of the companies touted "omni-screen" services that allow subscribers to watch cable programming on multiple devices. They also hit hard on the idea that cable TV programming is premium content. "Nothing engages digital viewers like cable content," said Kevin Smith, senior vp at Comcast Media 360, arguing that it "vastly eclipses" other types of digital content. 

The event brought an alternative perspective to the NewFront's first week, which was heavily focused on promoting short-form digital video and making the case for why advertisers should consider it premium content. 

It was clear the cable companies, in their first time banding together for a NewFront event, also had their own agenda: convincing advertisers that TV also means digital.

"Cable TV brings digital and TV together in the midst of this digital premium content evolution," said Smith. "We're digital and we want to be at the table. We want to be your partners."