Bid4Spots Extends Into Local Cable

Bid4Spots, a company that has been hosting weekly online reverse auctions for unsold radio inventory since 2005, is extending its business to local cable.

On June 11, Bid4Spots will begin offering weekly auctions of local cable TV airtime at discounted rates for the following broadcast week. According to the company, which made the announcement Monday (May 18), commercial cable inventory will be organized by demographic down to the neighborhood level.

In a down economy, Bid4Spot’s timing couldn’t be better, offering advertisers lower rates and local cable operators the ability to sell unsold inventory. According to Bid4Spots, about 10 to 25 percent of local cable TV airtime typically remains unsold adding up to between $263 to $657 million of local cable TV’s $2.63 billion total take.

“The Bid4Spots marketplace offers a much-needed revenue source for cable systems, and has the potential to change the buying habits of advertisers,” said Neal Schnog, former vice chairman of the American Cable Association and current CEO of New Day Broadband LLC.
Bid4Spots’ auctions are held every Thursday.

Advertisers, who pay in advance, indicate their intention to buy airtime within certain parameters. The relevant cable systems compete for the business by bidding against each other, driving down rates. Individual cable systems will be invited to participate only when an advertiser has expressed an interest.

There are no obligations and no contracts for cable systems to sign; they can decide which inventory to make available each week.

Since 2005, Bid4Spots has built up a network of 2,500 radio stations and 3,200 advertisers. Last year, advertiser participation in Bid4Spots’ radio weekly auctions increased 11 percent while revenue generated for radio stations increased 93 percent.

“There will always be a place for the face-to-face handshake deals for scheduled buys. We’re not here to replace those,” said Dave Newmark, founder and CEO of Bid4Spots. “What we’ve done is singled out a very specific type of inventory, quality airtime that simply remains unsold. It’s that inventory, in any medium, that is ideal for a marketplace like ours that pairs ready buyers with motivated sellers.”

Advertisers and cable systems sign up for the marketplace at

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