CANNES – Are media buyers too preoccupied trying to define “TV” and “video”? It’s worth approaching the issue from the sell-side, by way of Fox and ESPN.

The answer rests on delivery systems, according to Joe Marchese, President, Advertising Revenue, Fox Networks Group.

“The idea is, is a stream being delivered in a way in which you know who’s watching and, secondarily, is a stream being delivered in a way in which you can either change the ads or not change the ads?” Marchese said during a panel discussion by Comcast at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. “Last portion is, is it being delivered on demand or live?”

Additionally, he suggested separating content from delivery vehicle. This yields a definition of TV as “long-form storytelling, sports, news and information.”

To panelist Eric Johnson, EVP, Global Advertising Revenue at ESPN, behavior is a key component. People watch on average 63 of live sports, whether on a TV set or mobile phone. “The behavior looks the same. If they’re watching SportsCenter they’re watching for 15 minutes on a television or a mobile phone.”

Beyond definitions, the only thing that marketers should care about is the likelihood that their message was delivered, according to Marchese. The problem is “pricing mechanisms and the currency we trade on. So we can innovate on the format all we want but if we don’t change the currency, if we don’t change what success is, none of it matters.”

ESPN is moving to a Nielsen Total Live Audience metric this year, Johnson said in response to a question by moderator Matt Spiegel of MediaLink.

“We’re seeing a 9 percent lift with young men in terms of streaming that’s not being counted by the current Nielsen measurement tool. I think it’s going to help immediately,” Johnson said.

Marchese would “love to have Nielsen measure 9 percent more audience” but wondered whether “I have to take the same ads that were in the linear TV environment and then put them into the place, that other 9 percent where I could do a digital ad where you could get a different ad from me? Is that the only way I’m going to get paid on that extra 9 percent?”

Johnson’s response: “We are passing through the commercials for the part that’s being measured by Nielsen and then we have another half that we’re dynamically ad serving, that we’re selling digitally, so to speak. So it’s a little bit of the best of both worlds.”

This video is from The New TV Ecosystem Leadership Forum at Cannes Lions 2017, presented by FreeWheel. For more from the series, please visit this page.