Although many consumers love the auctions on eBay, large cable television networks have decided to avoid them. According to the New York Times, cable networks such as Turner Networks, Discovery, Lifetime, and ESPN have all made the move to ban online trading by eBay. As a result of this move, eBay trading will essentially have no airtime to sell to advertisers. This whole idea of computerized buying and selling has raised several issues even from the beginning: such as taking the creativity out of advertising and reducing overall prices.
This disinterest of online auctions by the cable companies not only affects eBay, but also largely impacts companies like Google since they are endeavoring to bring advertising auctions to television and newspapers.
Chief Executive John Muszynski of ad agency Starcom U-S-A says, “By going to this online bidding system that eBay was sharing with us, we’d be taking a step backwards.”
He reiterated that business has progressed over the years and the buying process is now a part of the marketing and promotions processes. This new integration process has allowed many television networks to sell 30-second spots as well as promotions… all in one package. Usually a very small number of television commercials are sold alone and geared at only one demographic. The eBay design does not coincide with that process.
Despite the dilemma this has raised for eBay, reports say they still will attempt to get other media companies to use auctions with the hope this will encourage the cable networks to change their minds.