NBCU announces online advertising network for its O&O stations

In an attempt to thwart third-party ad sales, NBCU has announced the Universal Audience Platform (UAP) group that will sell display ads on NBCU’s 10 owned-and-operated station sites as well as NBC.com and other sites on its network.

The UAP group will sell display ads across 21 sites on an audience basis, including NBC.com, USANetwork.com, Bravotv.com, iVillage.com, Telemundo.com, as well as NBC’s 10 O&O TV station sites.

As a result, NBCU will “sharply curtail” selling its inventory via third-party ad networks. NBCU’s move to take control of its online ad sales is aimed at positioning the company as a high-reach alternative to ad networks and portals like Yahoo.

What makes UAP different from previous ad networks is that it embraces audience-based selling as well as agency-run demand-side buying platforms (DSPs), two trends many publishers fear.