TVN Entertainment, Avail Media join forces in merger

Mon, 05/18/2009 - 8:30am
Mike Robuck

Content aggregator Avail Media has bought video-on-demand provider TVN Entertainment, which will result in an end-to-end platform for content owners and service providers.

Avail Media has transport rights in place from large programmers such as MTV and NBC Universal, while TVN Entertainment’s list of distribution partners includes AT&T, Bresnan Communications, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Verizon and DirecTV.

The two companies said the merger will create the largest independent provider of end-to-end content aggregation, management and service offerings, delivering content from more than 200 content partners – including Hollywood movie studios, cable networks and independent content producers – to more than 46 million homes and 120 million consumers.

The expanded services include video-over-broadband, targeted advertising and interactive applications. In addition to the Hollywood movie studio content available from both companies, joint customers will have the ability to offer linear programming from national broadcasters and more localized, genre-specific, ethnic/international and long-tail content to their subscribers.

“In these challenging times, delivering value to consumers and investing in the future takes on even greater importance for our customers,” said Ramu Potarazu, CEO of the newly created company and former president and COO of Intelsat. “The combined platform and reach of TVN Entertainment and Avail Media allows content owners and service providers of all types to outsource the manual, specialized function of managing and delivering video entertainment via an expert organization that performs these functions efficiently and cost effectively, now and in the future.”

Financial terms of the merger weren’t released.

Investors included Columbia Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners, Pioneer Ventures and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC).

While TVN has cable customers on its client roster, the presence of NRTC among the list of investors could indicate that the combined company will focus on providing content and services to IPTV providers.

In December, SES Americom cited slow adoption by small- to medium-size telcos as the reason for pulling the plug on its IP-Prime service in North America (story here).

More Broadband Direct 05/18/09:
•  Motorola debuts GPON enterprise LAN
•  Taiwan service provider picks BigBand for IPTV ad services
•  TVN Entertainment, Avail Media join forces in merger
•  Portugal's Zon TVCabo selects Jungo's middleware
•  Clearleap partners with Revision3, Next New Networks,
•  Is the "smartphone" dead?
•  Court case reveals ugly infighting at Motorola
•  Stocks bounce higher after losing ground last week
•  Broadband Briefs for 05/18/09



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