LONDON — UK cable operator Virgin Media is replicating its evolving addressable ad strategy in Ireland, after acquiring a TV channel operator.

Like in the UK, what is now branded “Virgin Media” is the product of a roll-up of several historical roll-ups of regional cable operators, offering telco and TV service, and is now owned by John Malone’s Liberty Global.

Three years ago, the group acquired TV3, an Irish TV channel operator. This September, it rebranded TV3’s suite of channels. And now the outfit is ensuring household-targeted ads can be sold within them – both on and off its own platform.

“We’re in the middle of what is a pretty unique case study in what happens when you bring content and connectivity together,” says Pat Kiely, the MD of the division that is now called Virgin Media Television, the former TV3.

“In Ireland, we are now the predominant cable business and the predominant three-tier television business.”

Now that the pieces are in place, Kiely wants to use them, to sell ads to buyers that air in both broadcast and narrowcast platforms.

That will happen in two ways:

  1. From next year, Virgin Media cable homes will become addressable.
  2. The company will also work with rival Sky to enable addressability for its Virgin Media Television channels carried over Sky.

Both moves mirror the strategies Virgin Media is following in the UK, where the company has slowly enabled addressability on its own platform and last year announced it would use Sky’s pioneering AdSmart technology to sell targeted ads through its own channels when viewed via Sky’s connected, satellite set-top box.

Kiely says: “I think that’s a real fight-back from traditional media and traditional television against the database solutions that our fine competitors have been winning the day on more recently.”

With big shows now under the belt of Virgin Media Television – like 6 Nations and Champions Cup rugby, plus Ireland’s Got Talent – that gives advertisers big audiences to get granular with.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Future of TV Advertising Forum 2018, London. The series is sponsored by Finecast. For more segments from the series, visit this page.