Oct 7th, 2019

Born with a simple vision:
To unify all players in TV

Written by Nicolle Pangis

The vision for NCC Media was born by a couple, Linda and Bob Williams, in Boston in 1981. Originally called New England Cable Rep, these two entrepreneurs ambitiously set out to unify cable inventory so that an advertiser could have a simpler way to buy cable programming in the local TV market.

At the time, a local TV buyer who wanted to buy CNN or ESPN in the Boston DMA, had to contact dozens of individual cable operators, and that was just for one DMA. This task became even more complex for regional advertisers looking to buy cable inventory across markets. The Williams’ recognized that this fragmentation issue was pervasive across the country, and quickly pivoted the company from a regional focus to a national orientation by forming a partnership with Comcast, Cox and Time Warner (today Charter), and rebranded the organization to National Cable Advertising (NCA) in 1988.

While national, multi-market brands recognized the strategic value of cable inventory in the local marketplace as a complement to broadcast TV stations, this strategic value was overwhelmed by executional complexity. Thanks to the ingenuity of the Williams’ and their team, NCA successfully pulled together almost every cable operator, telco, and satellite company in the US and scaled the business by unifying and harmonizing industry-standards, technology and platforms in order to remove the executional friction of cable TV advertising. Along the way, NCA acquired a Detroit-based cable sales organization, Cable Media Corporation (CMC), which was owned at the time by Katz Television, to eventually form what became known as NCC Media in 2009.

Over time, NCC Media came to serve as a neutral platform and sales organization for the entire MVPD industry, enabling each partner – whether cable, telco or satellite – to maximize the value of their inventory, as well as making it much simpler for media buyers to reach scaled supply in the local TV marketplace. The result from that humble beginning nearly 40 years ago, now powers a $6B local television business. We couldn’t be prouder of our history of bringing together all players in the TV to make us better together. This is the power of AND. Meet Ampersand.

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