Ericsson to Acquire FYI Television

Ericsson’s Broadband and Media Services unit said it has a deal to acquire FYI Television, an entertainment metadata and rich media content supplier.

Grand Prairie, Texas-based FYI Television accumulates and distributes  entertainment content and linear scheduling data from more than 9,000 TV networks each day for digital, media and analytics clients for use in connected devices such as tablets, phones, desktops, Web portals and gaming consoles.  Its database contains more than 2.8 million cast and crew related entities, and 1.5 million images directly relating to specific program titles, celebrities and stations, including logos, seasonal key art, movie posters and stills.

FYI Television has about 150 employees, who will join Ericsson’s Business Line Broadcast & Media Services when the deal closes during Q1 2016.

Ericsson said it’s poised to “create a powerful global force in content discovery” as it combines FYI Television’s U.S.-market expertise with Ericsson’s reach in Europe. The acquisition seemingly will improve Ericsson's competitive positioning with respect to metadata against companies such as Rovi and Gracenote. 

Ericsson said it opened a U.S. broadcast and media services hub in Atlanta, Ga., earlier this year, noting that it Braodcast and Media Services unit distributes more than 2.7 million hours of programming in more than 90 languages for 500-plus TV channels worldwide.

Ericsson, which offers an IPTV solution (via its acquisition of Mediaroom from Microsoft) and a newer cloud-based video offering called MediaFirst, said content discovery is a “key component” of the company’s multiscreen TV and media strategy.

"As the TV industry evolves and viewing behavior changes, we believe that high-quality, rich metadata will be a key component for a personalized TV experience,” Magnus Mandersson, EVP and head of business u nit global services at Ericsson, said in a statement. “Combined with our capabilities in TV platforms and content discovery, we will be able to help our customers to improve the video experience and identify new revenue opportunities.”