Multiplatform/Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI)

--RCDb, Red Bee Media, Five, Revision3, Roku, Roundbox, Jacked, Rovi, FourthWall Media, Scripps Networks, SeaChange International, SeeSaw, Sezmi, Sonic Solutions, Strategy & Technology, Synacor, SysMedia

Since February 3rd, [itvt] Daily News has been on hiatus, while the [itvt] editorial team produced the TV of Tomorrow Show 2010--and then took a few days off to recover. This is the sixth of eight round-up articles, in which we are covering some of the more significant developments in the multiplatform/interactive TV space that took place during our hiatus:

Multiplatform/Interactive TV News Round-Up (VII)

--Telegent, thePlatform, TidalTV, Time Warner Cable, TiVo, Tremor Media, TV Genius,

Since February 3rd, [itvt] Daily News has been on hiatus, while the [itvt] editorial team produced the TV of Tomorrow Show 2010--and then took a few days off to recover. This is the seventh of eight round-up articles, in which we are covering some of the more significant developments in the multiplatform/interactive TV space that took place during our hiatus:

Live Interactive Broadcasting Specialist, Ustream, Nets $75 Mil in Softbank-Led Series B Funding Round

--Will Use New Funding for Expansion in Asia Pacific Region

Live Internet broadcasting service provider, Ustream, announced late Monday that it has secured $75 million in a Series B funding round that was led by Softbank of Japan, and that additional funding commitments are pending from other investors in the US and Asia. The company says that the funding will help it continue its growth in the US, and allow it to expand its presence in the Asia Pacific region where it is hoping to pursue opportunities in Japan, China, Korea and India.

CEO Wood: Content Subscriptions More Important to Roku's Business Plan than Hardware Sales

--Roku Claims to Have Sold 500k+ Units, Plans to Raise $30 Mil this Quarter, May Go Public Next Year
--48% of Netflix Subscribers Now Accessing its Content OTT

In an interview with Bloomberg News that was published Wednesday, Anthony Wood, CEO of over-the-top company, Roku, revealed that the company hopes to raise $30 million in private funding this quarter from Menlo Ventures and other sources, and that it may go public next year--though he added that it is not currently working with an investment bank and has yet to set a date for an IPO.

Concurrent Reports Lower Revenues and Profits, but Beats Wall Street Expectations

--Says It Has Secured Multiplatform Advanced Advertising/Measurement Deal with Charter

VOD and advanced advertising technology provider, Concurrent, on Tuesday released financial results for its fiscal second quarter (2010), ended December 31st:

IBM in $83 Million Deal to Help India's Digicable Roll Out New Interactive TV and VOD Services

IBM announced Tuesday that it has secured a 10-year, $83 million strategic outsourcing deal with Indian cable operator, Digicable. According to IBM, the deal will see it supporting the integration of Digicable's digital media content delivery and value-added services applications with its core business technologies and processes, thus enabling the operator to provide "superior and personalized service" to its subscribers.

Widevine Secures $15 Million from Samsung, Liberty Global, Unnamed Satellite TV Provider

--Company Claims Relationships with Pay-TV and CE Industries Position it Well for "TV Everywhere"

Video content security and optimization specialist, Widevine, said Monday that it has secured $15 million in new funding from Liberty Global, Samsung Ventures (the venture capital arm of Samsung Group) and an unnamed "third corporation" described in a Widevine press release as "the world's...second largest satellite provider." The company, which has raised close to $52 million to date, says that its technologies are playing a "central role" in the delivery of video over-the-top to Internet-connected retail consumer electronics devices and in the "TV Everywhere" strategies of cable, satellite and telephone companies (note: the "TV Everywhere" distribution model seeks, via authentication technology, to ma

News Round-Up

--Rob Gelick Named SVP and General Manager of CBS Mobile
--CCI Producing Multiplatform, Interactive Scavenger Hunt-Themed Kids' Show, "GeoFreakZ"
--Version 3.0 of the Layar Augmented Reality Browser Released
--Soft Ad Market Impacts SeaChange's Earnings, but VOD Server Revenues Nearly Double

Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:

Bresnan Communications Deploys OpenTV's EclipsePlus Ad Campaign Management System

--Kudelski Provides "Final" Extension to OpenTV Shareholders Who Have Not Yet Tendered their Shares

Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, announced Monday that Bresnan Communications, the US's 13th-largest MSO (it has approximately 300,000 subscribers), has deployed its OpenTV EclipsePlus campaign management system to manage its advertising sales operations. The existence of an EclipsePlus deal with Bresnan was first revealed by OpenTV CEO, Ben Bennett, during the company's Q3 earnings conference call earlier this month (see the article published on, November 4th).

BBC Launches @North Initiative to Boost Interactive/Multiplatform TV Industry in North of England

--Initiative Has £500,000 Budget to Support Development of Interactive Content for Children

The BBC on Wednesday unveiled a new digital initiative, called @North, that is designed to boost the interactive/multiplatform TV industry in the north of England, the region in which Salford--the city to which a number of BBC departments, including Future Media & Technology and Children's, are scheduled to move in 2011--is located.

Sezmi Secures $25 Million in New Funding, Launches Public Pilot in Los Angeles

--Company's Flagship Offering Combines Traditional TV, Movies and Internet Video

Sezmi, a company that has developed a set-top box-based offering which it bills as "combining traditional TV content, movies and Internet video in a single, easy-to-use product and service," said Monday that it has secured $25 million in new funding from new and existing investors. The company--which last year announced that it had raised $33 million in an earlier funding round--also announced Monday that it has made its "all-in-one personalized television service" available via a public pilot in Los Angeles, in preparation for a nationwide launch next year.

Kudelski's Tender Offer Nets It 60% of Class A OpenTV Shares It Does Not Already Own

--Company Now Controls 91% of Voting Rights in OpenTV, Plans to Delist It from NASDAQ

The Kudelski Group announced Friday that it has successfully completed its tender offer to acquire the Class A shares of interactive TV middleware and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, that it does not already own for $1.55. According to the company, when its tender offer expired on November 12th, OpenTV shareholders had tendered approximately 56,382,588 shares (including 8,277,113 shares subject to guaranteed delivery procedures), representing approximately 60% of the Class A shares not already owned by Kudelski. "Upon the acquisition of those shares validly tendered and not withdrawn," Kudelski says, it will own approximately 91% of the voting rights in OpenTV.

Kudelski Lists "Severe Challenges Ahead for OpenTV" as a Standalone Company

--Kudelski Is Attempting to Acquire All Outstanding Class A Shares of OpenTV

The Kudelski Group on Monday published a document in which it enumerates various "severe challenges ahead for OpenTV" as a standalone company, should Kudelski's tender offer to acquire all the company's outstanding Class A shares for $1.55 per share in cash not succeed.

Sling Media Co-Founder, Blake Krikorian, Joins Clicker Media's Board, Invests in Company

--Clicker Media Seeks to Become a "Complete Programming Guide to Internet Television"

Los Angeles-based start-up, Clicker Media (note: the company, which says that it aims to become "the complete programming guide to Internet television," claims to catalog all broadcast programming available online, together with TV-quality Web originals, movies and music videos, and to deliver them "in one seamless, organized experience that includes more than 350,000 episodes, from over 5,000 shows, from over 1,000 networks, in over 1,000 categories"; it is currently inviting sign-ups from beta users), announced last week that Blake Krikorian has joined its board and has also invested an undisclosed amount in the company.

OpenTV Reports Higher Q3 Revenues and Income, Signs New Deals with Bresnan, LatAm Operator

--Kudelski Extends Expiration Date of its Tender Offer for OpenTV Class A Shares
--Earnings Round-Up: Amino, Blinkx, Cablevision

Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, has released its third-quarter financial results:

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