Comcast to buy video-ad platform FreeWheel for about $320M

FreeWheel's service is designed to help TV networks, film studios, and other content companies sell and manage in-video ads across numerous Web sites and devices.

Comcast is buying FreeWheel -- whose service is designed to help TV networks, film studios, and other content companies sell and manage in-video ads across numerous Web sites and devices -- for about $320 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.

FreeWheel's setup automatically allocates ad inventory, keeps track of ad revenue, and accounts for revenue splits between Web sites and content owners. It's also designed to help marketers place their ads more easily. It was founded by former executives of Internet-display-ad company DoubleClick, which was purchased by Google in 2007 for $3.1 billion.

FreeWheel's clients include A+E, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast), Turner, and Warner Music Group, among others. Comcast will make FreeWheel its own video-ad platform, but FreeWheel will continue operating as its own company and serving its current clients, sources said.

TechCrunch reported on the deal earlier today.

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