NBCUniversal, Sky expand ad-buying tool globally

FILE PHOTO: The Comcast NBC logo is shown on a building in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Comcast Corp CMCSA.O units NBCUniversal and Sky said Monday that advertising across both of the media companies can now be purchased through the same tool, as the firms look to attract more global advertisers and weather the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. cable television provider Comcast warned last month it expects weaker advertising revenue in its second quarter as sports, which often attracts major TV ad dollars, are postponed during the health crisis. The U.S. TV industry as a whole could see up to $12 billion in lost revenue in the first half of the year, according to research firm eMarketer.

Advertisers can now use NBCUniversal’s tool One Platform to purchase ads on UK-based Sky’s networks, the companies said.

“This effort matters more now than ever,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal, in an interview, adding that the automated tool could lower costs for advertisers.

By using One Platform, brands can buy ads to target viewers based on age and gender, the traditional metrics by which TV commercials are sold, or in more advanced ways, such as by the types of content they watch.

“This is designed for the consumer to get the ads that will be most relevant to them, and it’s better for the marketer,” Yaccarino said.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Andrea Ricci