With all of the change happening in the television world, it’s nice to have professional sports in your portfolio. It’s one of few things “that’s keeping the old traditional ecosystem healthy,” says Turner Broadcasting’s Howard Shimmel.

But it’s also nice to stay ahead of the audience targeting curve by using data science to analyze viewing behavior and enable more targeted advertising buys, Shimmel, who is Chief Research Officer, says in this interview with Beet.TV.

For the most part, professional sports still lives on broadcast and cable. “It seems to have been more resilient in terms of ratings over the last couple of years than other genres have been,” Shimmel says. “We’re really happy with the way that post-season baseball is performing for us, both on linear and we’re seeing amazing growth on digital.”

Earlier this year, Fox, Turner and Viacom announced they would collaborate on a linear TV audience targeting solution called OpenAP. It launched the first week in October and Shimmel says acceptance in the advertiser and agency community has been “great.”

He references a paper that was just released of an analysis of a $1 million TV spend and the resulting ROI depending on whether age-sex demos or audience optimization was the basis for the buy. “It turns out that the ROI for audience is about 30% more than buying age-sex” at the same budget, Shimmel explains.

Simply stated, the goal of OpenAP is “to facilitate that.”

As for the future roadmap of OpenAP, Shimmel lays out the vision thusly: “ Obviously we want to migrate beyond linear TV. We want it to buy cross-platform. We also want it to include cable set-top box inventory.”

Shimmel references an exercise that Turner did within the past couple of years when it first started measuring homes that had streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services. Data showed that those homes watched about one-third less traditional TV, so the exercise involved creating a group of non-SVOD homes with similar demographics to SVOD homes.

“Of the 33 percent difference, about two thirds of it was explained by demographics. Only a third of it was due to the fact that the technology, SVOD, was in the home,” Shimmel says.

This video is part of a series of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Advanced Advertising conference held during NYC TV Week. Beet.TV’s coverage is presented by 4C Insights. Please find additional videos on this page.