Discovery Picks FreeWheel as Ad Management Platform

Discovery signed a long-term deal to use Comcast’s ad tech company FreeWheel as the advertising management and decisioning platform for all of its cable networks.

The move follows last year’s acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive by Discovery. Discovery’s roster of cable networks and Scripps’ cable networks both worked with FreeWheel. Discovery reviewed its systems and decided to unify them with Freewheel.

The consolidation enables Discovery to aggregate its audiences across all screens at a time when media companies are looking to make sure they have the technical capabilities to provide scale to advertisers.

“As we are building the advertising solutions of the future, the industry needs to accelerate the innovation around technology, measurement and targeting. There is too much value being left on the table and Discovery is committed to supporting the next generation of innovators across the industry. FreeWheel has been a strong partner over the years, and their work to integrate the tech stacks of our expanded portfolio, while complicated, has been seamless,” said Keith Kazerman, executive VP, digital sales, advanced advertising and research at Discovery. “The resulting, combined Discovery platform offers advertisers the necessary scale and intelligence to reach their customers across the array of data-enabled delivery channels that are redefining the way television is bought and sold.”

Part of what Discovery and FreeWheel will be able to do is to take better advantage of viewers who watch programming on the Go apps associated with each of the Discovery networks. Viewing on the app represent an incremental audience of largely younger viewers who can be reached by more targeted and addressable advertising.

Discovery is also working with Comcast and FreeWheel to bring addressable capabilities to Discovery programming delivered via traditional linear distribution and set-top video on demand.

Comcast Advertising has been pushing addressability through it On Addressability initiative.

“It’s great to work with partners who share the same focus on innovation and continual improvement,” said James Rooke, general manager, FreeWheel Publishers. “The work that we have done together, and continue to expand upon, is truly changing video advertising for the better. We are proud to call Discovery a client and look forward to the exciting advancements on the horizon.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.