Avail Media, a wholesale provider of linear video content, and TVN Entertainment, a vendor of video-on-demand, are merging, with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative as one of several investors in the combined company. The deal creates a content powerhouse offering both linear and VoD content, but also could be seen as the NRTC's answer to IP-Prime, a similar wholesale content venture run by SES Americom and targeted at NRTC member carriers and others until SES announced its planned shutdown late last year.
In recent months, Avail Media and others have noted how successful they have been in winning over carrier customers affected by IP-Prime's closing, so the combination will make a lot of sense to NRTC members. It will also be a good fit for those members who might be ready for a transition to offering VoD.
Other investors in the merged company include Columbia Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners and Pioneer Ventures. The NRTC, through its stake, will gain a seat on the new firm's board.
Here's the merger press release
Avail Media has scooped up IP-Prime customers