--BBC to Offer One-Off "Casualty" Webisode via Web, Mobile and Red Button
--BBC Worldwide Exec Discusses Plans for iPlayer-Like Paid VOD Service for International Markets
--Boxee App for Justin.TV Launches
--McObject Launches Database System for EPG's
--Interactive Video Company, PermissionTV, Changes Name to VisibleGains, Focuses on B2B
--Web-to-TV Browser Company, Personal Web Systems, Raises $1.2 Million
--JD Power Survey Finds Increased DVR Usage, Slightly Lower VOD Usage
--Qualcomm's FLO TV Launches Dedicated Mobile TV Device
--ScanScout Launches New Interactive Video Ad Unit
--India's NDTV Selects Tata Communications' BitGravity-Powered LiveBroadcast Streaming Service
--TiVo's Tom Rogers Delivers MIPCOM Keynote on Connected TV
Here is a round-up of some other interactive TV-related stories we didn't have room for in this issue:
The Kudelski Group said Monday that its wholly owned subsidiary, Kudelski Interactive Cayman, Ltd., has commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding Class A shares of interactive TV middleware and applications provider, OpenTV, not already owned by Kudelski, for $1.55 per share in cash (note: Kudelski is OpenTV's largest shareholder: it has an approximately 32.3% stake in the company that gives it approximately 77.2% voting control). The bid values OpenTV at approximately $215 million.
--Will Also Use New Funding to Expand Internationally
Delivery Agent, a company that specializes in developing what it calls "shopping-enabled" entertainment (i.e.
--Company Sees Significant Reduction in Operating Expenses
Mirada, the Anglo-Spanish interactive TV company that was formed via the merger of YooMedia and Fresh IT (for extensive background on the merger, see [itvt] Issue 7.87 Part 3), released financial results, Tuesday, for the 12-month period, ended March 31st.
Communications technology company, Arris, announced last week that it has reached a deal to acquire Digeo, the Paul Allen-backed set-top box company best known for its flagship Moxi product line's Emmy-winning interface (which replaces the standard "spreadsheet" EPG interface with a so-called "cross-hairs" configuration, consisting of two intersecting animated lines at right angles to each other: customers use the left and right arrow keys on their remote control to scroll through a series of customizable categories--dubbed "filters" by the company--on the horizontal line: e.g.
--Former CEO/Founder, Dalen Harrison, to Remain on Company's Board
Portland, Oregon-based interactive TV authoring solutions provider, Ensequence (note: the company--whose customers include MTV Networks, NBC Universal, ESPN, MLB Advanced Media, QVC UK, HSN, Nike, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner, DISH Network, Verizon and BSkyB--has raised over $100 million to date), announced last week that it had secured an additional $20 million in funding, and that it had appointed Peter Low, who was formerly president and COO, as president and CEO.
--Reports Lower Revenues, Swings to a Loss
VOD, IPTV and advanced advertising technology provider, SeaChange International, announced Tuesday that it has acquired all the issued share capital of eventIS, a privately owned Eindhoven, Netherlands-based company that provides VOD and linear broadcast software and services to cable and telco operators primarily in Europe. According to SeaChange, in 2008 eventIS generated US GAAP revenues of approximately $13 million and turned a profit. The company has around 70 full-time employees.
VOD technology provider, Concurrent, has released financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year, ended June 30th:
--Says General Catalyst Will Help it Strengthen Relationships with Big Media and Cable Companies
--Aims to Bring its Platform to More Connected Devices, Attract More Developers, Add More Content
In a posting on over-the-top-TV specialist Boxee's blog, Wednesday, the company's founder and CEO, Avner Ronen, announced that it has closed a $6 million Series B funding round that was led by Boston-based General Catalyst, with participation by existing investors, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures (note: the company raised $4 million in a Series A round that closed last November). As part of the financing package, General Catalyst managing director, Neil Sequeira, will join Boxee's board.
--Reports Higher Q2 Revenues and Lower Losses
Rovi (formerly Macrovision--for more on the company's name change and the repositioning it heralds, see the interview with Rovi chief evangelist, Richard Bullwinkle, that was published on itvt.com, July 16th) announced Thursday that it has signed a multi-year global agreement with TiVo which it says will allow the latter to incorporate Rovi TV, movies and music data into its DVR's and into its technology and service solutions targeted at cable, satellite and broadcasting companies.
ADB Group, the parent company of interactive TV software specialists, Vidiom Systems and Osmosys, and set-top vendor, ADB, has released financial results for the first half of 2009:
Softel Group Divests Aston Broadcast Video Graphics Business to Focus on Interactive TV and Subtitling
The Softel Group announced Monday that it is selling its video graphics systems company, Aston Broadcast, for an undisclosed amount to real-time graphics specialist, Brainstorm Multimedia. According to the company, the sale of Aston Broadcast is the latest in a number of major changes that have been initiated by CEO, Sam Pemberton (who was formerly president and CEO of Softel's Softel-USA arm--which he also founded), since he took the helm of the company back in July, 2007.
--Plans to Use Funding to Develop its Online Video Syndication Technology
5min, a US-Israeli company that operates a syndication platform and destination Web site for how-to videos, announced last week that it has secured $7.5 million in Series B funding, bringing the amount it has raised to date to nearly $13 million. The round was led by new investor, Globespan Capital Partners, and also saw the participation of existing investor, Spark Capital. Globespan managing director, Jonathan Seelig, will now join 5min's board of directors.
--Also Announces Strategic Partnership with Playtech
NetPlay TV, a UK-based company that specializes in "live" interactive TV gambling (note: the company recently acquired Two Way Gaming, a joint venture between Two Way TV and Win Gaming, and, as part of that deal, has taken over the production of interactive TV gaming channel, Challenge Jackpot, which offers programming on the UK's Virgin Media cable, Sky satellite and Freeview digital terrestrial platforms--see article posted on itvt.com, May 19th), announced last week that it has conditionally placed 58,352,476 new ordinary shares of £0.05 each, at a price of £0.22 per share, raising gross proceeds of £12,837,545.
Israel's The Box Secures Funding from Greylock Partners to Target US and Other International Markets
--Company's Offerings Include "CelebZ," a Viewer-Driven, Animated Interactive TV Series
The Box, an Israeli company that bills itself as specializing in developing "content for broadcast entertainment and advertising that seamlessly integrates multiple forms of media, including television, Internet and mobile, into an innovative blend of advertising and entertainment," said Thursday that it has received an investment of "several million dollars" from VC firm, Greylock Partners (note: the latter's other investments include Facebook, LinkedIn, ZipCar and DoubleClick).