Local Television Broadcasters’ TIP (TV Interface Practices) Initiative to Accelerate Electronic Workflow for TV Advertising Transactions

Nexstar, Sinclair, Tribune and TEGNA Consortium Launches Standards-Based Project to Bring Streamlined Business Interfaces to Local TV and Invites Industry Participation
Download “Interface Automation Guidelines for Local TV Transactions” TIP Initiative’s First Technical Whitepaper at www.tvb.org/TIP

NEW YORK – A consortium of local television broadcasters including Nexstar Media, Sinclair Broadcast, TEGNA and Tribune Media, announced the launch of the TV Interface Practices or “TIP Initiative,” an industry work group dedicated to developing standard-based interfaces to accelerate electronic advertising transactions for local TV broadcasters and their media agency partners.

“The goal of the TIP initiative is to accelerate local TV interoperability by creating a coalition of system providers to work with buyers and sellers to develop and implement streamlined transaction workflows using standards-based open APIs”

The local TV industry has struggled with the manual nature of the advertising buying and selling process for many years. While various solutions providers have sought to streamline the process to support the industry’s long-term competitiveness, progress has been slow due to a lack of universal modern standards-based interfaces. In early 2017, broadcast executives from Nexstar,Sinclair and Tribune came together to accelerate, coordinate, standardize and make open the technical framework necessary to streamline the local TV transaction process. TEGNA joined the consortium earlier this month. With TEGNA’s participation, the consortium now represents the four largest station affiliate groups in the US.

This consortium of broadcasters believes in these guiding principles:

  • Local television is the most powerful brand-building medium, connecting marketers with consumers and advertisers, brands and broadcasters will benefit from the best automation;
  • While demand is high for local television ad inventory, transactional friction has created challenges for buyers;
  • System-to-system electronic processes can streamline the buying of local spot media; however, creating interoperability takes coordination across multiple broadcast companies;
  • Standards-based interfaces are the best way of encouraging the needed system-to-system interchange of transactional information; and,
  • Standard API interfaces set the stage for advanced local TV and ATSC 3.0 and will greatly enhance the efficiency of buying local media by U.S. advertising agencies.

The consortium contacted over a dozen systems providers involved in various aspects of local TV transactions to review existing electronic methods and specifications that support local spot buying. From this research, a set of API’s are proposed to support the electronic transfer of “buy” transactional data. TVB, the trade association representing local broadcast television will provide a repository for the TIP Initiative’s work and open access for industry partners. The consortium’s technical whitepaper, “Interface Automation Guidelines for Local TV Transactions,” is a consolidated description of potential best practices describing the local TV transaction workflow and recommended API framework. The whitepaper and details of the TIP Initiative is available at www.tvb.org/TIP.

“The goal of the TIP initiative is to accelerate local TV interoperability by creating a coalition of system providers to work with buyers and sellers to develop and implement streamlined transaction workflows using standards-based open APIs,” stated Perry Sook, Chairman, President and CEO of Nexstar Media Group, Inc., who also serves as the Chairman of TVB. “Local broadcast television remains unrivalled among all media as its reach, engagement and influence consistently delivers proven revenue-generating marketing solutions to advertisers and brands. To sustain local television’s advantages across all screens and devices, we must work together as an industry to create a more efficient marketplace for advertisers to access local TV inventory in a manner that is cost effective for the buyer, while maintaining the integrity of our product. By encouraging broadcasters, advertisers and others to join the TIP Initiative and participate in this important, ongoing collaborative effort we will improve our competitiveness with other media and deliver more brand safe solutions to advertisers and brands.”

“Many of our advertising agency partners have told us they are unable to leverage our valuable television ad inventory because outdated processes leave them with little or no margin to support a local spot buy,” said Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The TIP Initiative demonstrates the industry’s shared commitment to working together with technology providers and advertising partners to develop open standards-based solutions for efficient automated buying and selling of broadcast TV spot inventory. In addition, advertising and programming content monetization options will expand with Next-Gen TV, giving broadcasters the ability to deliver targeted campaigns to advertisers that reach local audiences at scale. For our industry to quickly and effectively optimize this opportunity, while ensuring transparency, it is important for us to collaborate on this effort ahead of the adoption of ATSC 3.0.”

“We believe the TIP Initiative is an important first step toward automating the buying and selling of broadcast television inventory in a manner that facilitates fairness and integrity of the marketplace,” said Larry Wert, President and CEO of Tribune Media. “A lack of progress on the buy- and sell-side has prevented broadcasters from unlocking the full value of our local content offerings. Embracing innovation is critical to elevating the competitive position of the local broadcast television industry, while driving the continued growth of our respective businesses. By actively working together to implement standards-based open APIs and technologies, we will be able to extract efficiencies and create a platform for advertisers to more effectively access our multi-screen inventory and transact business.”

“There is strong demand for premium local advertising opportunities because live TV viewing remains the largest form of media consumption. Our inventory is finite, our platforms give marketers direct access to customers and our local content remains consumers’ first choice,” added Dave Lougee, President and CEO of TEGNA. “We must be innovative and develop new ways to allow advertisers to connect with their targeted audiences more effectively. Automation removes the costs and complexity from the local broadcast TV ad buying and selling process, giving local stations and advertisers the opportunity to more efficiently allocate their respective resources. The TIP Initiative will serve as a foundation for marketplace fairness and the implementation of standards-based open APIs.”

More information about the TIP Initiative is available at www.tvb.org/TIP.

About Nexstar Media Group

Nexstar Media Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 170 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities. For more information please visit www.nexstar.tv.

About Sinclair Broadcast Group

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Pro forma for pending announced transactions, the Company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 television stations in 108 markets. The Company has multiple emerging networks as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and a producer of live sports content. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.

About Tribune Media

Tribune Media is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of 42 owned or operated broadcast stations, national entertainment network WGN America, Tribune Studios, WGN-Radio and a significant number of real estate properties and strategic investments. Tribune Media combines distinctive content with nationwide broadcast distribution and cutting-edge digital properties and data businesses. As it prepared to separate its publishing business, Tribune Media acquired Local TV Holdings to become the nation’s largest independent broadcaster, began the conversion of its superstation WGN America into a widely distributed general entertainment cable channel, and launched a re-imagined Tribune Studios as an engine for producing original content. In every aspect of the company, whether in producing critical local news, riveting original programming, or premier sporting events, Tribune Media engages and connects viewers with must-have content across every distribution platform.


TEGNA Inc. is a media company innovating in the digital age. Our purpose is to serve the greater good of our communities – through empowering stories, impactful investigations and innovative marketing services. As one of the most geographically diverse broadcasters in the U.S., TEGNA is a best-in-class operator with 46 television stations (including those serviced by TEGNA) in 38 markets from coast to coast. We are the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets and reach approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. TEGNA provides local and national partners custom, targeted and integrated campaigns that help their business grow and thrive by reaching the right audiences at the right time.

About TVB

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s $21 billion local broadcast television industry. Its members include over 800 individual television stations, television broadcast groups, advertising sales reps, syndicators, international broadcasters and associate members. TVB actively promotes local media marketing solutions to the advertising community and works to develop advertising dollars for the medium’s multiple platforms, including on-air, online and mobile. TVB provides a diverse variety of tools and resources, including its www.tvb.org, to support its members and to help advertisers make the best use of local ad dollars.