Katz and Cox Take Over ePort

NEW YORK: Katz and Cox are taking over management of ePort, the online ad marketplace launched by the Television Bureau of Advertising three years ago. The platform had just surpassed $1 billion in sales last summer when the TVB decided to seek operational partners for it.

Katz Television Group and Cox Reps, a division of Cox Media Group, said today that they worked out a collaboration with Strata, the Chicago firm that created the ePort electronic portal for the TVB. Cox and Katz will assume financial and directional support of the ePort e-business platform.

Strata created ePort for TVB in 2007 as an electronic platform over which buyers, local TV broadcasters or national representatives could send and receive transactions. Local TV broadcasters and the rep community funded the multi-million dollar development to make the process more accurate for the nearly 75 percent of local broadcast business conducted on paper. To date, ePort has processed more than $2 billion in transactions. The financial backing from Cox and Katz will assure the platform’s continued operations.

ePort’s capabilities complement those of another platform, the Direct Agency/Rep Exchange, or DARE, an electronic bridge between agencies and reps. Cox and Katz were involved in taking national TV spot sales onto the DARE platform.

Strata will now resume technical support activities with Katz TV and Cox Reps. Working together, Katz TV, Cox Reps and Strata plan to add functionality to ePort that will make local broadcast television even easier to transact.