'TV Browser' Creator Espial Shops for New Owner

-- Digital TV Software Firm Exploring 'Strategic Alternatives'

Canadian digital TV software firm Espial may be shopping for new owner, announcing that it is exploring "a range of potential strategic alternatives."

Espial distributes a "TV Browser" capable of delivering Web video content from Google, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix and other sites to pay TV subscribers. The company is banking on the increased competition cable operators face from over-the-top video to secure new distribution deals for its portfolio, which includes IPTV middleware and applications, and video-on-demand products. 

"The company believes that the success of OTT services like Netflix demonstrates the value of on-demand and interactive TV," Espial said in a statement it released Friday. "Such services, along with increased competition in TV service providers, is increasing pressure on incumbent pay TV operators, telcos, cable and satellite operators to deliver next generation on-demand video services across multiple screens and networks."

Espial stock jumped 28 percent after Friday's announcement, closing at $1.31 per share, up 31 cents. 

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