PC Matic began TV advertising in 2010, and shortly after, we began our relationship with Fox News. I nervously filled out the credit application, and got the news we had been accepted. Since that time, our relationship with the people at Fox News has been nothing short of amazing.
This is NOT political. Our contacts have been knowledgeable, professional and extremely helpful. We would not be where we are without Fox News and their continued guidance and support.
It doesn’t hurt that Fox News is the largest channel not just on cable news, but in all of cable. Fox News viewership exceeded ESPN Q1 2018.
Our product is the only antivirus exclusively made in the United States. I believe this message resonates well with the Fox audience. I also believe that Fox viewers are less likely to own a Mac product which further helps our returns.
Over the last eight years, we have advertised on Fox News every month and often times in heavy rotation. We have learned a lot and I hope I can share some of what we learned about advertising on Fox News.
The bread and butter of any cable or television channel are the general advertisers. These are the high budget, high profile brands such as cars, beer, wireless service, cell phones, televisions, credit cards, pharmaceuticals and so on. These companies typically purchasing their production and media buying through a large ad agency. General advertisers pay a premium for their slots. In exchange for the premium, they receive two things.
First, together with their advertising agency, they choose which shows to associate their brand. Secondly, they are guaranteed a number of viewers with their spend. A good illustration is breaking news such as another OJ Simpson helicopter chase. When this happens, all advertising is suspended, and then for weeks afterwards, the general advertisers are reimbursed with “make goods” for the viewers they lost. Everything else is squeezed.
In a one hour segment, there are 15 minutes of total advertising. Three minutes are allocated by law to cable providers who in turn resell to local car dealers, grocery stores and personal injury lawyers. If the inventory is unsold, it is returned to the national remnant pool.
PC Matic purchases Fox TV ads through the remnant or direct response program. Weekly, we submit bids per slot and rotator. For example, we would submit a bid like this:
This indicates we agree to pay for 5 spots at $10,250 for a :60 second commercial to air in the Fox morning day part that airs from 6am – 12pm Monday through Friday. We do not choose which shows our spots air. Fox determines the shows based on our bids and the bids of other potential advertisers. It is essentially an auction, and some weeks we clear well, and others perhaps not at all particularly when “make goods” are being delivered to general advertisers.
In addition to purchasing remnant direct from Fox, Fox allocates inventory to the cable providers to be sold in remnant. PC Matic purchases remnant on DirecTV, Dish Networks, Spectrum and Comcast. Typically, we purchase in clusters of channels that are defined by the cable providers. For example, we purchase DirecTV’s News cluster. Other clusters available from DirecTV are adult, female, male, sports, life style, young adult, and kids. The news cluster contains Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, Weather Channel and CNBC.
For example, here is a typical purchase from DirecTV.
This indicates that we agree to purchase three 60 second commercials across all channels in the news cluster at a cost of $3800 on any show that is aired from 6am to 12 am Monday through Friday.. PC Matic is not choosing the shows that we clear. We provide a threshold we are will to pay, and DirecTV decides which shows our ads are displayed. The $3800 includes all the channels and not just one in the cluster.
Learn more about DirecTV clusters page 6, 22-25.
PC Matic purchases remnant inventory directly from Fox News and Fox’s cable partners. Due to the way that remnant inventory is purchased and priced, PC Matic is not allowed to choose the shows that its ads appear. The trade off is that our rates are significantly lower than the general advertisers. In this way, PC Matic does not endorse or sponsor any particular show or host. If anything our remnant purchases reflect our respect for Fox viewers and not their shows. More over in the case of remnant buys from DirecTV, Dish Networks, Comcast, and Spectrum, we support all cable news channels and not just one.