Never a dull moment at Comcast.
Hot on the heels of news that it's planning to launch a new online video platform, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) confirmed today that it has purchased video delivery and ad tech specialist This Technology LLC . In a letter on the This Technology site, CEO Jeff Sherwin announced that the company's products and services will now be available through Comcast Wholesale. However, a source close to Comcast explained that much of the technology will also get folded into the cable company's Video IP Engineering & Research (VIPER) division, with many of This Technology's engineers joining the VIPER team as well.
Since its founding in 2006, This Technology has made a name for itself in the dynamic ad insertion (DAI) business with solutions for managing metadata and connecting diverse video infrastructures to a wide range of ad server platforms. But the DAI label doesn't cover everything that This Technology has to offer. The company has also found a niche in alternate content delivery, with solutions for substituting new content into a video stream when circumstances require it. The technology is ideal for regionalized broadcasts and for situations like sports blackouts where primary content is gated by distribution rights agreements.
In recent news, Denver-based This Technology scored a critical patent earlier this year for intellectual property related to identifying ad inventory attributes. It also added two new customers among the top five cable operators in the US. While This Technology couldn't name those customers, it already boasted Comcast on its roster at the time, while rival BlackArrow Inc. had recently signed a new deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). That leaves Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Charter Communications Inc. and Cox Communications Inc. as potential candidates. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), NBC Universal and ABC Inc. are also know clients of This Technology. (See Ad Insertion Vendor Scores Patent, Customers .)
Regarding today's acquisition, Comcast CTO Tony Werner said in a statement, "We are thrilled that This Technology is becoming a part of Comcast. This Technology's innovative video infrastructure platform and dynamic team of technologists have long played critical roles in our ongoing mission to evolve our video delivery infrastructure. Integrating This Technology into our advanced video group will accelerate our development cycles and strengthen our ongoing transition to IP video."
Of note, former Comcast CTO Dave Fellows has served as the chair of This Technology's technical advisory board. Fellows is also now co-founder and CTO of stealth video startup Layer3 TV. (See Layer3 TV Closes $51M, Plans 2015 Launch.)
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading