Advanced Television

Cross MediaWorks acquires BlackArrow

August 25, 2015

US independent media services firm Cross MediaWorks, has acquired BlackArrow, a specialist in advertising and data solutions for the pay-TV industry.

Reaching more than 40 million homes, BlackArrow provides software solutions that help 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. BlackArrow customers include leading pay-TV operators such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Rogers Communications, Liberty Global and Virgin Media.

The addition of BlackArrow to the Cross MediaWorks family will expand the types of products and services the company 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. Coupled with Cross MediaWorks’ existing media sales via Cadent Network and creative and advertising services through The Cross Agency, the company 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.

Nick Troiano, CEO of BlackArrow, will serve as CEO of Cross MediaWorks, and Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, CTO of Cross MediaWorks will assume CTO/COO responsibilities. Troiano, a successful media executive with Maven Networks and Yahoo!, has guided BlackArrow’s growth since joining the company as president in 2009. Mitchko-Beale joined Cross MediaWorks in 2014 after having pioneered deployment of advanced advertising during a 15-year career with Cablevision Systems Corporation.

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. Baker previously headed Boston Ventures’ communications and entertainment practices, and was CEO of USA Interactive, parent company of USA Networks, Sinclair Communications and River City Broadcasting. Wright formerly was chairman and CEO of NBCUniversal and was a vice chairman and executive officer of GE.

“Cross MediaWorks and BlackArrow individually have deep roots in the pay-TV community,” said Joan Gillman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Media Services for Time Warner Cable and a member of the Board of Directors of BlackArrow. “The integration of BlackArrow into the Cross MediaWorks family will provide operators with the tools and services they need to maximize revenue from their TV inventory, whether that’s traditional linear TV spots or addressable advertising on VOD or OTT platforms.”

“We are committed to using data and technology to allow our clients to combine the broad reach and influence of TV with the precision and accountability of digital,” said Todd Gordon, Executive Vice President, US Director for MAGNA GLOBAL. “Both Cross MediaWorks and BlackArrow have a proven history of delivering in this space and their combination will serve to accelerate progress for our clients at MAGNA GLOBAL and across the industry.”

Founded in 2007, Cross MediaWorks has relationships with such leading agencies as IPG, WPP, Omnicom, Havas and Publicis. The company works with a wide variety of major brands, including Allstate, Dannon, Dr. Scholl’s, FedEx, Jimmy Dean, Kumon, L’Oreal, Liberty Mutual, Macaroni Grill, Merck, Red Robin, Sears, StubHub and Welch’s.

“The power of this relationship is our ability to provide a single point of contact for all TV advertising at scale,” said 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.”

The acquisition will help BlackArrow to service new customers and expand its solutions to new TV platforms by leveraging Cross MediaWorks’ pay-TV partnerships and linear TV advertising technology. 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 optimize advertising capabilities for its customers.

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