Rogers Aims BlackArrow At VOD Ads

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Rogers Communications, the biggest cable operator in Canada, is deploying BlackArrow's system for dynamically inserting ads into video-on-demand content.

The MSO earlier this year began rolling out BlackArrow's Advanced Advertising System to dynamically insert pre-, post-, and mid-roll ads into VOD programming. Rogers' Dynamic Ad Insertion is scheduled to be implemented across additional markets later this year -- which the companies said would mark the first wide-scale rollout of dynamically inserted mid-roll advertising in North America.

"The introduction of dynamically inserted advertising solutions within on-demand TV can significantly change the scope of on-demand television in Canada," BlackArrow president Nick Troiano said in a statement. "We look forward to working together with Rogers and their programming partners to create a vibrant, industry-leading on-demand environment that can increase content choice, create new advertiser opportunities for engagement with viewers and give Rogers an edge in the competitive video market."

BlackArrow's other customers include Comcast, which also is an investor in the company. BlackArrow has raised $65 million from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cisco Systems, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, Motorola Mobility, NDS Group and Polaris Venture Partners.

In 2010, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued a ruling
that new forms of advertising be permitted on VOD services. Previously,
VOD content was commercial-free or included the same ads as the linear
broadcast.

Rogers is using SCTE-130-compliant components of BlackArrow's system, including: a Placement Opportunity Information Service (POIS), which determines the correct ad payload and inventory owners based on business rules between Rogers and its content provider partners; an Ad Decision Server (ADS) to determine which ad campaigns to play; and a Playlist Engine, which assembles the ads and mid-roll information into a playlist that the downstream video playback equipment can understand and execute.

In addition, the BlackArrow Content Information Service (CIS) is used to capture and store break information for mid-roll triggers and metadata information that can be used in campaign targeting.

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