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Dish and DirecTV Combine Addressable Ad Efforts for Political Campaigns

Satellite Giants Want Political Campaigns to Buy Addressable Ads Across Both

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Dish Network and DirecTV are combining their sales efforts for addressable TV advertising for political campaigns.

The partnership will allow political campaigns to use both operators' addressable capabilities to target commercials at a household level, the companies said. Combined, DirecTV and Dish reach over 20 million households.

A Dish Network Corp. receiver in Parker, Colo.
A Dish Network Corp. receiver in Parker, Colo. Credit: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

Addressable TV advertising is currently available in 37 million households, one media buyer estimated, but advertisers would have to do separate deals with multiple satellite and cable companies to actually approach that kind of reach. Stitching two pay-TV systems' addressable offerings together is meant to make it easier for advertisers to target TV commercials on a wide scale.

The move now was inspired partly by the use of data of in the most recent presidential election, executives at Dish and DirecTV said. "Political spending is a rapidly growing market and this allows us to go after new money," said Warren Schlichting, senior VP-media sales, Dish Network.

The partnership will give campaigns the ability to show their messages to a precise set of potential voters and eliminate spending waste, said Keith Kazerman, senior VP-ad sales, DirecTV.

DirecTV and Dish will open an office in Washington, D.C., to house the joint operation and will hire about five new employees to start. The companies' other media sales efforts will continue to operate independently.

Other pay TV companies including Cablevision and Comcast offer varying degrees of targeting capabilities. But Dish and DirecTV have made the biggest leaps in giving the technology broad reach. Dish delivered its first national addressable campaign in July 2012, while DirecTV rolled out its platform nationally a year ago.

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