Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): SeaChange, Shaftesbury Films, Smokebomb Entertainment

--SeaChange Reports Financial Results, Stresses Transformation into "Pure-Play Software Provider"
--SeaChange Promotes Steve Davi to CTO
--Shaftesbury Films, Smokebomb Entertainment to Produce Interactive Sci-Fi Series, "State of Syn"

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012 (note: Spring Discount registration ends midnight Saturday!), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Multiplatform video software provider, SeaChange International (note: the company recently announced that it has divested its broadcast servers and storage business--see the article published on, March 22nd), has released financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter, ended January 31st. The company "reported revenue of $51.7 million (excluding $2.4 million in revenues related to discontinued operations) and a non-GAAP income per share from continuing operations of $0.18 for the fourth quarter," it states in its press materials. "In comparison, fourth-quarter fiscal 2011 revenue was $57.9 million and non-GAAP income per share from continuing operations was $0.19, respectively. The company's fourth-quarter and full-year financial results reflect the impact of its previously announced agreement to sell its former broadcast servers and storage business while retaining its video streaming software and related hardware business; accordingly, the company has reflected this business as discontinued operations in its financial statements for fiscal 2012 and for comparative purposes in prior periods. The company posted a GAAP loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 of approximately $3.5 million compared with GAAP income from continuing operations of $11.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Included in the fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 loss from continuing operations were restructuring charges of $3.1 million, primarily related to headcount reductions, and $1.8 million of earn-out expenses related to prior acquisitions, whereas in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, the company recorded a gain on the sale of an affiliate for $1.9 million." At the end of the year, SeaChange's cash, cash-equivalents and marketable securities totaled $93.8 million, compared to $88.9 million at the end of the prior quarter. Said CEO, Raghu Rau: "Our focus in fiscal 2013 is on the execution of our strategy to transform the company into a pure-play software provider, lowering our overall cost structure, delivering industry-leading, next-generation solutions and achieving superior financial results. We recently announced the divestiture of our broadcast servers and storage business and are actively engaged in the potential divestiture of other non-core assets that do not fit into our long-term business strategy. In addition to the $5.0 million in annualized cost reductions announced earlier this year and the significant reductions in operating expenses as a result of the divestiture of the broadcast servers and storage business, we expect further operating-expense reductions in the first half of this year through product and market rationalization and reductions in general and administrative costs. We will continue to invest significantly in research and development by moving investments from legacy to next-generation products and building our intellectual property. In fiscal 2013, SeaChange will become a leaner and more agile company focused on bringing new products to market that deliver a competitive advantage to our service-provider customers and drive increased value for our shareholders. We are excited about the prospects for a transformed SeaChange in fiscal 2013. We anticipate full-year fiscal 2013 total revenues to be in the range of $188 million to $200 million with software revenues to be in the range of $150 million to $160 million and media services revenues to be in the range of $38 million to $40 million. We also anticipate full-year non-GAAP total operating income to be in the range of $19.5 million to $23.5 million, as we anticipate the software segment accounting for $17 million to $20 million and media services segment accounting for $2.5 million to $3.5 million of this range. For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, we expect software revenues to be in the range of $35 million to $37 million taking into account certain product and market rationalization efforts, including exiting unprofitable products and markets, and media-services revenues to be in the range of $7.8 million to $8.2 million."
  • In other SeaChange news: The company has promoted Steve Davi to CTO. Davi was previously SVP of advanced technologies, responsible for the company's software technology architecture. Multichannel News's Todd Spangler has more.
  • Canadian production company Shaftesbury Films, and its digital media arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, have announced casting and production details for an interactive science-fiction show, entitled "State of Syn." "Starring Jewel Staite ('Firefly,' 'LA Complex'), David Hewlett ('Stargate SG-1,' 'Stargate: Atlantis'), and Rainbow Sun Francks ('The Listener,' 'Stargate: Atlantis'), 'State of Syn' (10 x five minutes) is a 3D-enabled digital motion novel for online, smartphone and tablet devices that combines live-action photography with animated hyper-real backgrounds," the companies state in their press materials. "Commencing production in Toronto in early April, 'State of Syn' will launch to consumers in summer 2012 and will also be offered to buyers as a standalone property for multiple platforms at MIPTV 2012 in Cannes...Featuring 10 five-minute narrative episodes, 'State of Syn' takes place in a futuristic society where instability reigns but one commodity remains accessible to all: technology. The storyline follows Annika Drake (Staite) and her friends who, following the unexplained death of her father, are pulled into a twisted mystery surrounding his former company, emerging tech giant Psylosense. Now run by her father's former business partner Aslin Kane (Hewlett), Psylosense is manufacturing a highly addictive, new sensory experience called Vibe--a digital technology simulating a neurological condition called synesthesia--which is poised to become the new opiate of the masses. Audiences will be able to enhance their experience of the narrative through an interactive content layer that will allow additional story information to be revealed upon demand via text, audio or images throughout each episode. They can also choose to view 'State of Syn' in 3D through the use of a 3Dee Slide (available for purchase from 3DeeCentral), or on any 3D-enabled device." Said Smokebomb CEO, Daniel Dales: "'State of Syn' combines the best of traditional sci-fi storytelling with the type of immersive user experience that only digital platforms can offer. Fans of the genre will experience a thrilling mystery presented in an eye-popping layered animation style with interactive elements that will deepen the story world."
North America