Cisco to buy OVP ExtendMedia, sets up TV Everywhere move

Networking giant Cisco Systems today said it plans to acquire privately-held ExtendMedia, a white label online video platform that's powering Bell Canada's foray into the TV Everywhere ecosystem, for an undisclosed sum.

Cisco says the acquisition will help it solidify its delivery of IP video services to three-screens by enabling service providers to provide a more interactive and personal experience and to optimize quality for consumer viewing devices as the market continues its transition to IP video.

ExtendMedia jumped out quickly among OVPs in 2009 with its OpenCASE video management platform gave TV customers an alternative called TV Anywhere. The company in October teamed with Bell Canada to launch TV Anywhere, a service that allowed customers who subscribe to The Movie Network to watch TMN programming from their computers through the Bell TV Online portal anywhere in Canada.

The move continues a predicted consolidation of the OVP market this year. Move Networks in July laid off its workforce and said it was looking for a buyer; Devle Networks was purchased by CDN Limelight, and Akamai and Brightcove announced a major partnership.

"It is exactly a part of the industry consolidation that we've predicted," said Strategy Analytics analyst Jia Wu. "There were so many players in such a small business segment which is simply not sustainable. I think this trend will continue for the rest of the year. I suspect the market will end up being dominated by large corporations with only a few leading independent firms still existing for a long time."

ExtendMedia counts among its customers Bell Canada, AT&T and Cablevision.

"As the video market transitions and consumers expect multi-screen engagement, service providers are enhancing their infrastructure to manage and deliver video to any device while providing a rich user experience," said Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group.

ExtendMedia brings to Cisco a strong software team that understands the complexities of delivering multi-screen video over IP networks.  ExtendMedia's CMS software, which will integrate with Cisco's current IP video offerings, will be a core component of Cisco's next-generation video architecture.

Financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the first half of Cisco's fiscal year 2011. Upon the close of the acquisition, the majority of the ExtendMedia team will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group. The Newton, Mass.-based company has its main workforce in Toronto. The ExtendMedia Sales and Professional Services teams will integrate into the Cisco Sales and Advanced Services organizations.

For more:
- see why Cisco feels the buy was a 'logical' move
- see this release

Related articles:
Bell Canada, ExtendMedia take TV 'Anywhere'
ExtendMedia - Top Online Video Company 2009
ExtendMedia powers Polish web portal's OTT on-demand VOD launch
ExtendMedia's platform competes with TV Everywhere's
ExtendMedia stays open-minded about OTT video
ExtendMedia gets $10M in Series C