The emergence of programmatic ad trading technology in to digital video and TV has not yet garnered as many dollars as it has conversation. But that could change with deals like the one Videology has struck to power programmatic linear TV ads for AT&T.

Announced last week, the deal will see AT&T allow a group of advertisers in a private marketplace to use data and automation to buy custom-targeted ads reaching U-Verse and, soon, DirecTV viewers.

“AT&T wants to make buying television with data easier – we automated the planning and parts of the buying process,” Videology CEO Scott Ferber tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

Software vendors like Videology have made in-roads in to programmatic trading of online video ads. Now the attention is turning to TV, a much larger pot of ad money. But getting there will be hard, until most TV sets are somehow connected up to digital networks.

Still, Ferber knows that, when that happens, what is a big market now could become a huge one.

“Historically, everyone looked at data-driven and automation to represent the real-time biddable moment,” he adds. “But, when you look at TV and digital video, less than 1% of the United States spend, $70+ billion dollars in 2015, was on real-time biddable inventory.

“If you really want to make an impact on data-driven and automation, you’ve got to bring it to the the other 99%…. premium inventory, reserved guaranteed television commitments.”

As Wall Street Journal reports, whilst the AT&T deal means automation, manual touches like advance buying will still be required. The Videology technology will also be applied to other video screens in AT&T’s portfolio.

We also spoke with AT&T AdWork’s VP for national sales Jason Brown on the news.   Please find that report here.

We interviewed him at the Videology Full Frontal Conference in New York.  Please watch other videos from Beet’s coverage here