Bid4Spots, the online reverse auction clearinghouse for unsold radio inventory, is launching its first cable TV ad time auction Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for the company, 500 hundred cable headends are participating, including in all major markets, with over 25 advertisers signed up.
The auction works by having cable operators with unsold inventory go online and bid for the advertiser's business, with the low bid winning the spots.
Bid4Spots has been testing the site for the past couple of weeks.
The advantage to cable operators, says the company, is that they get to sell of unsold inventory, which is obviously better than the spots going unused, while advertisers obviously benefit by getting a low price (like Priceline, with operators' unsold ad inventory subbing for empty hotel rooms).
Bid4Spots says the advertisers signed up include local auto dealers (whose spot advertising has plummeted with their fortunes), as well as financial service companies and employment agencies.