The global combination of Sky and NBC Universal’s ad operations is continuing apace, with news that the European platform will adopt NBCU’s CFlight unified advertising metric.

Sky’s Sky Media ad sales house, which sells inventory for both Sky’s owned-and-operated channels and others’, will adopt CFlight across all content and platforms in the UK from autumn and in its other European territories next year.

NBCU rolled out CFlight in 2018 to capture all live, on-demand and time-shifted commercial impressions on every viewing platform, calling it “the industry’s first unified advertising metric”.

In this video interview with Beet.TV back in January, EVP, Insights & Measurement for NBCU, Kavita Vazirani, explained CFlight was conceived to “raise the bar on digital and provide guarantees on completed views” while providing a new way for NBCU to maximize ad inventory and yield portfolio-wide.

CFlight + BARB?

UK TV viewing is already counted by BARB, an agency jointly owned by broadcast providers including Sky and which traditionally works on a panel method. Last year, BARB launched its own industry-wide system to count viewing across TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones, Project Dovetail, giving it sight of views through broadcasters’ catch-up platforms.

But Project Dovetail launched only in its first phase, offering average audience counts. Launches are pending for stage two (multi-screen reach and time spent) and stage three (multi-screen ad campaign performance).

Is Sky’s adoption a vote of no-confidence in CFlight? Not according to Sky. In NBCU’s announcement, Sky Media UK MD John Lister says: “We also continue to support the mission of BARB in the UK to deliver an industry-wide view.” NBCU says: “Sky continues to be a shareholder and champion of BARB in the UK and Ireland. In addition, Sky’s commitment to building the BARB Dovetail capability across all broadcaster content remains as strong as ever.”

CFlight incorporates viewing data from BARB (UK), Nielsen (US) and other sources to produce a richer, aggregate metric for combined multi-platform viewing.

Wider integration

This is the latest piece of the jigsaw to slot in to place following the acquisition of Sky by Comcast last year.

In March, Comcast announced it would merge NBCUniversal’s Audience Studio with Sky’s AdSmart, a pioneering addressable TV advertising system.

These moves appear to particularly help large global brands put together Transatlantic campaigns.

“The world is getting smaller, and the opportunity for international marketers to make an impact with consumers is getting bigger,” said NBCU’s advertising chairman Linda Yaccarino in a statement alongside the AdSmart news.