Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): Cisco, NDS, Sky Italia, Ooyala, WordPress

--Cisco to Acquire NDS, Merge it into its Service Provider Video Technology Group
--NDS Powers New User Interface for Sky Italia
--Ooyala Participates in WordPress Featured Partner Program

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Cisco, which back in 2006 acquired digital TV equipment provider, Scientific-Atlanta, for $6.9 billion, announced Thursday that it plans to acquire interactive TV and content-security technology provider, NDS, for approximately $5 billion. "The acquisition of NDS will complement and accelerate the delivery of Videoscape, Cisco's comprehensive platform that enables service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation entertainment experiences," Cisco states in its press materials. "Acquiring NDS will broaden Cisco's opportunities in the service provider market, expanding its reach into emerging markets, such as China and India, where NDS has an established customer footprint. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $5 billion, including the assumption of debt and retention-based incentives, to acquire all of the business and operations of NDS. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of calendar year 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review in the United States and elsewhere. The net impact to Cisco is expected to be accretive to EPS in the first full year on a non-GAAP basis. Highlights/Key Facts: 1) Cisco's open, standards-based Videoscape platform, which spans the cloud, the network and end-user clients, is a key part of the company's overall video strategy to deliver TV experiences that make access to content more visual, mobile and social for consumers, while protecting and enhancing the value of content for service providers and media companies. 2) The addition of NDS's leading software solutions, such as the end-user viewing client and content-security solutions, combined with its systems integration expertise, will accelerate the delivery of the Cisco Videoscape platform. 3) This acquisition reflects Cisco's increased strategic focus on video, one of its five foundational priorities, and its investment in software and services revenue streams and competencies. 4) This acquisition underscores Cisco's commitment to its 'build, buy, and partner' strategy to grow through a combination of organic innovation, targeted acquisitions and strategic partnering. 5) In terms of valuation, on a forward-looking basis, the acquisition is generally in line with the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) multiples paid when NDS was taken private in 2009, and is within the multiples ranges for comparable deals, including Cisco's acquisition of Tandberg. 6) A significant portion of NDS's software, services and content-protection business is recurring, with long-term contracts, typically with an average duration of approximately five years. 7) Prior to the close, Cisco and NDS will continue to operate as separate companies. Upon completion of the transaction, NDS's global operations, including sites in the United Kingdom, Israel, France, India and China, and its approximately 5,000 employees will join the Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG), led by senior vice president and general manager Jesper Andersen. 8) Dr. Abe Peled, NDS executive chairman, will be named senior vice president and chief strategist for Cisco's Video & Collaboration Group, of which SPVTG is a part. Dr. Peled will report directly to Marthin De Beer, senior vice president, Cisco Video and Collaboration Group."
  • In other NDS news: The company said Wednesday that Sky Italia has chosen its MediaHighway middleware to enable an "advanced" user experience for its subscribers, that includes a new EPG and various enhanced interactive features. "MediaHighway will be deployed on all new Sky Italia HD digital video recorders (DVR's) and is in the process of being downloaded to more than 1.6 million existing devices," NDS states in its press materials. "Enabled by MediaHighway, the industry's leading set-top box software, Sky Italia subscribers will benefit from flexible viewing with an advanced user interface, providing intuitive navigation of content and services, including NDS XTV DVR technology that enables timeshifted viewing functionalities (such as pause, rewind, fast-forward and playback). Sky Italia currently employ a number of NDS technologies including VideoGuard conditional access (CA) and interactive technologies."
  • Online video platform provider, Ooyala, contacted [itvt] Wednesday to let us know that it is participating in the WordPress Featured Partner Program (note: WordPress is operated by Automattic). "The program offers companies that have integrated their services with the WordPress platform the opportunity to promote and seamlessly enable their tools for large-scale sites in's VIP SaaS Hosting program," WordPress/Automattic states in a press release forwarded to [itvt] by Ooyala. "As part of the application process, VIP will vet potential Featured Partners and review their code, to ensure a tight integration with the VIP platform." Said Ooyala's director of publisher experience, analytics and monetization, Sudhir Kaushik: "With video now being a must-have rather than a nice-to-have for premium Web properties, VIP is a great way for publishers to get up-and-running quickly with a solution that provides the most engaging personalized video experiences. We're glad to be working with Automattic to simplify and speed the process for publishers to deliver multiscreen video to facilitate greater engagement, increase social sharing and grow audiences."
North America