In what could be a groundbreaking change the decades-old system of how networks and affiliates share advertising revenue, ABC is implementing a new program that will allow the network to exchange inventory with its 200 affiliates throughout the year, reports Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.
Traditionally, the networks sell the bulk of their national inventory in the upfront and scatter markets, while affiliate stations receive a small, fixed number of units, the story says. But with the Inventory Exchange System, ABC will be able to hand off some units to stations, which can then sell the commercial time locally at a profit, the article says.
"ABC will put aside a small amount (5-6) of extra units, most of them in prime real estate like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Modern Family,’ that will be made available to affiliates starting with the current election period. ABC will put a premium on the asking price for each market through a computer program whose patent is pending. If enough affiliates opt in (I hear the threshold is about 50-60%), the IES will go into effect and the unit will be transferred to the stations," Andreeva writes.