Nine: TV airtime won’t be traded via real time bidding

Paul McIntyre
By Paul McIntyre | 2 September 2014

Nine Entertainment Co’s all new cross-channel sales, strategy and creative teams were out in force last week in a national roadshow to media buyers and advertisers and they laid down the law: TV airtime will not be traded in real time bidding (RTB) exchanges for a long, long time, if “at all”.

NEC unveiled its new structure and a snappy office set-up to AdNews last week in Sydney’s Australia Square where Nine, Mi9, Powered and its emerging star in consumer events, Nine Live, are housed in cross-functional teams dedicated to each of the key five media buying groups.

NEC’s roadshow finished up late last week in which the new sales structure, some new TV shows for 2015, data strategy and an intent from Nine for a cross channel audience measurement currency were all flagged.

Talking to AdNews last week, Mi9’s sales boss Emma-Jayne Owens, Nine’s sales director Michael Stephenson and NEC’s director of sales and marketing Peter Wiltshire flagged a number of initiatives which will hit the market in the coming year but any expectation around TV airtime being thrown into automated bidding exchanges was quickly buried.

Nine said it backed programmatic developments to gain process efficiencies between media buyers and TV networks and endorsed the Media Federation of Australia’s industry initiative, set for a market launch next year. But real time bidding of TV airtime, similar to the boom underway in online advertising, would not happen.

“Our belief is that programmatic technology is an enabler to help drive efficiencies and helping to find audiences in the most relevant and efficient way but we don’t view programmatic as a commoditisation play,” Owens said. “From a TV perspective we don’t see real time bidding [happening] any time soon.”

Nine Network sales boss Michael Stephenson quickly added “at all”.

“We do make a point of saying we’re not scared of programmatic as defined as automation,” he said. “But not defined as real time bidding.”

Peter Wiltshire said until TV broadcasters deliver all their content via IP, RTB would not happen.

“It’s in the very long foreseeable future,” he said. “Until you’re in an environment where everything is delivered via IP into the home, into the set, you have 100% smart TV penetration and there’s no more [FTA] antennas existing anywhere in the world and everything is coming in via cable, it’s not going to happen. It’s a long way off.”Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day. Need a job? Visit

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