WideOrbit beta launches “WO Central”


WideOrbit, provider of business management software for media companies announced the beta launch of WO Central, the industry’s first, real-time, direct connection between buyers and the seller’s ad inventory systems—delivering direct online access to more than $14 billion in spot television inventory.

WO Central is a new and improved way to buy spot television that allows agencies and advertisers direct, online access to inventory across more than 1,100 WideOrbit television stations and networks—which represents more than 50% of all spot television inventory in the US.  Enabled with a direct two-way connection with Donovan Data Systems, WO Central represents the first time that Donovan systems has been directly connected on a two-way basis to station Traffic systems and regional cable networks.

WideOrbit’s initial beta focus for WO Central will be paid programming (long form infomercials) with direct (short form infomercial), political, brand and radio rolling out later this year. For more info see www.wocentral.com.

”I have worked for several decades to help improve the buying process of Spot Television,” said Kathy Crawford, former President of MindShare Local Broadcast and member of the Board of Directors of WideOrbit.  “WO Central is the first meaningful improvement in the buying process in a long time.  I look forward to WO Central making a big positive impact on the Media Buying industry.”

WO Central is designed to bring efficiency to the buying and selling process.  WO Central allows agencies and stations to negotiate prices, generate and process orders automatically on a real-time basis.  This will allow orders to be monitored and tracked easily—saving countless hours and reducing discrepancies and credits. Orders for non-WideOrbit stations will be transmitted through TVB’s ePort.  WO Central’s new two-way standard delivers enormous efficiency improvements and will be rolled out with Donovan’s and WideOrbit’s initial beta customer, the NBCU O&O station group, later this month.

“WideOrbit’s original goal was to make it easier to buy and sell advertising,” said Eric Mathewson, Founder and CEO of WideOrbit.  “We started by re-building the foundational Station side Traffic systems, and now we’ve created WO Central, a realization of our original vision.  We believe that WO Central will make a large impact on how media is bought and sold in the future and will go a long way toward making Spot Television easier to purchase and more competitive given the choices that advertisers have available today.  We look forward to working with Stations, Networks, Advertisers, Agencies and Reps on WO Central to help improve transactional systems in the media industry.”

RBR-TVBR asked Mathewson: How do you compare and contrast the functionality with WO Central and with TVB’s e-Port system?
“ePort is a messaging service, not connected to inventory or pricing.  Hence ePort can’t do makegoods, negotiate prices, manage copy or material instructions or lots of other things.   It also is not connected to any Donovan Agencies which has the overwhelming share of large brand advertisers.   Effectively, ePort is a partial solution.   WO Central is connected to ePort and we will use ePort to transmit orders to non-WideOrbit stations.”