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Comcast's NBCU & FreeWheel Aim to Unify Worlds of Linear TV, Digital Video Ads

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NEW YORK -- Today, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company (Nasdaq: CMCSA), announced it has completed the first stage of a technology unification initiative with NBCUniversal (NBCU) to extend FreeWheel’s ad decisioning capabilities to traditional TV inventory. The first stage focused on building the connections between NBCU’s digital and linear ad delivery technologies, laying the foundation that will enable NBCU to more effectively sell and execute inventory across all screens in a unified fashion, a long-standing goal for the industry.

With the linear and digital delivery systems now connected, NBCU is using FreeWheel’s dynamic ad decisioning technology to optimize linear TV schedules in tight coordination with their linear trafficking system. Bringing digital capabilities to linear TV inventory has historically been challenging since ad placement decisions must be inclusive of all buying parameters, such as competitive separation, programming and daypart restraints, and special sponsorship linkages.

Having demonstrated the value of using FreeWheel’s decisioning technology for optimizing linear schedules for age/gender ratings, FreeWheel and NBCU will roll out the capability across its channels throughout 2019. The two companies are also working toward enabling delivery based on additional criteria chosen by the advertiser — such as delivery against a particular data segment, or delivery of a specific KPI — as the industry moves toward more audience-based, results-driven advertising.

The next stage of the unification program will include the ability to optimize campaigns in-flight across linear and digital, optimize between direct sold and programmatic channels and enable household addressability. Both companies see these as critical to increasing the accessibility of television to new advertisers through greater automation while improving campaign performance.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)
NBCUniversal LLC

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