Discovery Wants to Unify the Fragmented Broadcast Landscape

It’s offering a one-stop shop for media buyers through FreeWheel

A picture of mountains and another picture of a T-rex with "Discovery" and "Comcast" written above them
Discovery is partnering with FreeWheel to offer a single platform for media buyers interested in managing their buys across Discovery’s channels. Discovery, Comcast

Discovery’s roster of channels—including its flagship Discovery Channel, along with Food Network, TLC and more—is about to become a bit more cohesive.

Today, the media company announced a multiyear partnership with FreeWheel that will see the Comcast-owned company offer a single, unified platform for media buyers looking to manage their buys across Discovery’s buffet of channels. It’s a move that, per the company, will help advertisers reach viewers across the company’s streaming platform, Discovery GO, along with viewers that catch their favorite Discovery programs through the apps offered by cable or satellite providers.

“FreeWheel has been a valued partner over the years, and their work to integrate the tech stacks of our expanded portfolio, while complicated, has been seamless,” said Keith Kazerman, Discovery’s evp of digital sales, advanced advertising and research, in a statement. “The industry needs to accelerate the innovation around technology, measurement and targeting. There is too much value being left on the table.”

It’s an idea that’s familiar to any advertiser working in the broadcast space—as cord cutters and connected platforms become more popular among TV-centric audiences, fragmentation increases in kind. Right now, even some of the most basic audience definitions vary wildly across broadcasters, and the myriad offerings that viewers might use to access the programs of their choice. Discovery’s choice to cozy up to FreeWheel manages to evade some of that fragmentation by offering a one-stop shop for media buyers looking to hit the audience they’re looking for, whether it’s through someone’s mobile phone or linear television.

@swodinsky Shoshana Wodinsky is Adweek's platforms reporter, where she covers the financial and societal impacts of major social networks. She was previously a tech reporter for The Verge and NBC News.