Digital television technology company NDS has announced a strategic alliance with BlackArrow to offer solutions for next-generation television advertising. The alliance aims to provide on-demand advert insertion, with addressable and interactive advertising, intending to support multiplatform campaigns across multiple devices in the future. NDS has also taken the lead in the latest $20 million funding round in BlackArrow.

NDS provides technology for more than 70 pay-television platforms around the world, including security, software and interactive applications across set-top boxes, computers and other media devices.

The BlackArrow multiplatform advertising campaign management systems will complement the existing NDS Dynamic advanced advertising platform.

The companies say their combined expertise will provide a framework for operators and programmers to generate additional revenues from next-generation advertising. They plan to allow platform operators to use their existing network and set-top box infrastructure to deploy standards-based dynamic advertising which can be sold and managed by programmers while enabling advertisers to measure the results of their campaigns.

Investment in digital video recorders and video on demand will allow operators to offer more effective addressable and accountable advertising, said Dr Abe Peled, the chairman and chief executive of NDS. “Our investment in, and alliance with, BlackArrow further reinforces our commitment and belief in the growing power of advertising to expand our customers’ business.”

NDS led a $20 million funding round in BlackArrow, together with existing investors Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners. The capital will be used to expand product development and accelerate deployment. Blackarrow has already received over $50 million in funding.

In addition to NDS, BlackArrow counts Arris, Cisco, Motorola, RGB Networks and SeaChange among its partners, as well as companies like Adobe, Akamai and Brightcove in the online video world.

“We have aligned ourselves with partners and investors that not only share BlackArrow’s vision but also stand behind us by providing a firm financial platform that ensures our ongoing success,” said Dean Denhart, the chief executive of BlackArrow.

Despite many attempts, the aim of delivering advanced interactive television advertising has been largely unfulfilled for over a decade, largely due to the complexity and fragmentation of legacy digital television infrastructure. In comparison, online video advertising is relatively sophisticated. The challenge is now to bring that experience to the television screen and enable campaigns to be managed and measured across multiple platforms.

William Cooper of informitv will be chairing a roundtable discussion on advanced interactive advertising in Amsterdam in May, hosted by CSI magazine.