NDS Invests In BlackArrow

Dean Denhart

NDS Group, a developer of addressable and interactive advertising technologies, has made a sizable investment in Silicon Valley's BlackArrow. The two companies have established a strategic partnership, combining technologies and co-market advanced advertising offerings, while co-developing new opportunities.

In a new $20 million round of financing for BlackArrow, NDS is providing the largest -- although undisclosed -- amount. NDS, which is 49% owned by News Corp., joins five other investors in contributing. All have made previous investments. including a Comcast arm and Intel.

Both BlackArrow and NDS market products to pay cable operators, helping them develop new ad streams using set-top-boxes and other platforms. In addition to facilitating addressable and iTV capabilities, the NDS Dynamic product offers audience measurement abilities.



BlackArrow can provide dynamic ad insertion -- with targeting -- within video-on-demand streams, which can benefit operators and content creators. Last month, Fox Cable Networks and BlackArrow announced a trial involving addressable advertising in VOD programming for FX, Speed and the National Geographic Channel.

"BlackArrow has really proven that they can go into one of the first new platforms, which is VOD, and put in a next-generation system for programmers," said Todd Narwid, vice president of new media for NDS.

He added that an integration of the two companies' products can "move the needle" in the "next iterations" of advanced advertising. BlackArrow now has garnered $58 million in venture capital. With its contribution, NDS gets a seat on BlackArrow's board.

NDS has a slew of clients globally that include Cablevision and DirecTV in the U.S. BlackArrow also works with Comcast and Bresnan Communications.

Dean Denhart, BlackArrow CEO, said the partnership will allow his company to expand overseas, where U.K.-based NDS has a foothold.

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