Comcast has finalized a deal to
buy digital advertising company Freewheel for $360 million, according to reports.
Freewheel provides digital advertising insertion for online and video-on-demand programming for major TV
content providers, including 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Dish Network, DirecTV, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Discovery Communications, Univision Communications, Amazon.com, Turner Broadcasting and
Freewheel's investors include Steamboat Ventures, Turner Broadcasting System, DirecTV, Battery Ventures and Foundation Capital.
Comcast could use Freewheel for other
traditionally delivered TV screens -- including addressable advertising -- according to analysts.
"FreeWheel's mission has always been to unify television advertising wherever content is
viewed," company cofounders Doug Knopper, Jon Heller and Diane Yu said in a blog post announcing the deal. "To make this a reality, the industry needs an enterprise advertising platform that works on
all screens, across the entire ecosystem, at scale.”
Previously, Comcast bought Strata Marketing, a provider of media-buying and selling software in 2005, and thePlatform, a
white-label online-video publisher and management platform, in 2006.
FreeWheel executives said: “We have developed a strong and productive relationship with Comcast and know that they
will be a solid partner for FreeWheel in the future, just like they have for thePlatform and Strata.”