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Programmatic TV: NBCUniversal expands programmatic offering to include linear TV inventory

As I’ve written before, programmatic does not mean less premium. In fact, it could mean more premium – as it does in the case of NBCUniversal’s latest offering.

The company announced earlier today that NBCUx, its two-year-old digital programmatic offering will now include linear TV. However, the new offering will only be available to “select advertisers and their agency partners.” More, only “a select set of demand side platforms which mean the company’s requirements” will be able to access this inventory – hence, the premium factor.

“Our goal is to give our advertisers as many ways to access the high-value, target audiences they want to reach within our premium content,” said Dan Lovinger, executive vice president entertainment advertising sales group, NBCUniversal. “Our NBCUx digital programmatic offering was a key component to our clients’ success last year and we expect that by adding premium TV inventory to the mix, it will greatly enhance their efforts. The launch of NBCUx for linear TV is another example of our commitment to innovation on behalf of our clients.”

Advertisers and agencies will be able to begin buying linear TV inventory programmatically beginning this fall. The company also recently announced the launch of Audience Studio, which unifies the company’s data offerings through a single platform across broadcast, cable and digital.

As the first major broadcast network to offer premium linear TV inventory programmatically, NBC should be able to command premium rates. While details are unclear, the most premium inventory will likely be reserved for larger package buys; however, this will certainly take some of the pressure off the company ahead of this year’s upfronts. Not that last year’s upfronts were unsuccessful: NBCU’s 2015 haul was up 2 per cent year over year in terms of overall dollar volume.