Cross MediaWorks buys BlackArrow


Joseph O'Halloran

| 26 August 2015

In a move described as driving TV ad technology across all screens, media services firm Cross MediaWorks has acquired BlackArrow, a provider of pay-TV advertising and data solutions.

Reaching more than 40 million homes, BlackArrow claims to offer software that helps the global pay-TV industry deliver more timely and efficient sales and marketing messages, extend TV services to new platforms, and gain real-time measurement and audience insights across multiple screens. Its customers include operators such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Rogers Communications, Liberty Global and Virgin Media.

As a result of its acquisition, Cross MediaWorks says that it will be able to expand the types of products and services it can offer to pay-TV operators and advertisers on a worldwide basis. BlackArrow software products enable inventory owners to manage, sell and optimise their own inventory. Indeed, it asserts that coupled with existing media sales via the Cadent Network it owns and creative and advertising services through The Cross Agency, it is now uniquely able to offer customers a full range of services from self-serve software to fully managed services across all forms of TV inventory.

As a subsidiary of Cross MediaWorks, BlackArrow will continue to operate separately alongside other Cross MediaWorks units. BlackArrow will collaborate with all of the Cross MediaWorks' portfolio companies to integrate technology and operations to optimise advertising capabilities for its customers.

Current BlackArrow CEO Nick Troiano will serve as CEO of Cross MediaWorks, and Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, CTO of Cross MediaWorks, will assume CTO/COO responsibilities. Troiano will join Barry Baker and Bob Wright, senior advisors to Lee Equity Partners, on the board of directors of Cross MediaWorks, a Lee Equity Partners portfolio company.

"Cross MediaWorks and BlackArrow individually have deep roots in the pay-TV community," said Joan Gillman, executive VP and chief operating officer, media services for Time Warner Cable and a member of the board of directors of BlackArrow, commenting on the deal. "The integration of BlackArrow into the Cross MediaWorks family will provide operators with the tools and services they need to maximise revenue from their TV inventory, whether that's traditional linear TV spots or addressable advertising on VOD or OTT platforms."

"The power of this relationship is our ability to provide a single point of contact for all TV advertising at scale," added Troiano. "By combining BlackArrow's multi-platform expertise and advanced advertising technology with Cadent Network's best-in-class media sales force and deep pay-TV provider relationships, Cross MediaWorks will have the leading technology platform and sales organization across all forms of television viewing."