As the TV landscape is changing, there are certain things that stay the same. For Fox, that constant has been the habit of watching sports live, which has given the network the ability to engage an audience of millions during appointment viewing, an increasing rarity in programming.

“It’s designed to be watched live, it draws great audiences. It’s not designed to be viewed on demand,” says Dan Callahan, Fox’s vp of audience and automated sales, speaking to Beet.TV during an interview at Advertising Week. “Live only happens once and we’re excited about that.”

Live sports is only one piece of the puzzle, though, and Callahan says that like most other networks, Fox is figuring out its own direct-to-consumer play and subscription model (a betting component might be up next). The goal is “to be the best facilitator and partner for brands and agencies to come activate against,” says Callahan, and in service of that, Fox is working across a wide range of partnerships in order to light up the most inventory and match databases to Fox’s audience network. It’s currently splintered across linear TV’s MVPD, smart TV manufacturers and digital channels like Hulu, says Callahan.

One solution to that separation is OpenAP, which Fox is a founding participant in. OpenAP, which is an across-industry platform that consolidates premium TV programming and inventory into one place, was established in order to bring more transparency to ad inventory buying across new TV platforms. Callahan says OpenAP has gotten a new “shot at life” now that CEO David Levy is building a dedicated team for the initiative. “It’s been refreshing to have a group of thoughtful individuals focused wholeheartedly on the project,” says Callahan.

For Fox, the point of OpenAP is to standardize the process around audience definition, and make it easier for brands and agencies to work more holistically with the network.

“We’re trying to create a transactional workflow for a very manual process today, and if it can become an enter-exit point for planning and posting campaigns, we think we’ve got the ability to be successful and add value,” says Callahan.

This video is part of a series of interviews conducted during Advertising Week New York, 2019.  This series is co-production of Beet.TV and Advertising Week.   The series is sponsored by Roundel, a Target company.  Please see more videos from Advertising Week right here

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