Harris Broadcast Completes Purchase Of Imagine Communications

Harris Broadcast on Wednesday wrapped up its acquisition of Imagine Communications, a vendor that specializes in adaptive bit rate technology for TV Everywhere, over-the-top video  and other multiscreen video applications.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but when the deal was announced on December 4, Harris Broadcast CEO Charlie Vogt estimated that the acquisition would boost his company’s addressable market by more than $300 million while accelerating Harris Broadcast’s adaptive bit rate product roadmap. Vogt also said at the time that Imagine has done business with the top 10 U.S. cable operators. Comcast and Canada’s Cogeco are among Imagine’s known MSO customers.

In announcing the deal last month, Harris Broadcast said it intended to keep most of Imagine’s base of about 50 employees. It was not immediately known Wednesday if Imagine CEO Richard Stanfield and co-founder and chief technology officer Ron Gutman would among those staying with Harris Broadcast following the acquisition.

Update: Vogt on Thursday offered some details regarding the fate of Imagine’s top executive team. While Stanfield and Imagine CFO Bruce Warren will not be staying on at Harris Broadcast, Gutman will be moving to Denver and will become “an integral part of our R&D team,” Vogt said.

Also staying on are Chris Gordon, Imagine’s former VP of product marketing, who will lead up Harris Broadcast’s telco and MSO sales efforts. Gil Mazor, Imagine’s GM for its Israel operations and VP of R&D, will continue with Harris Broadcast and run the R&D team in Israel, Vogt said.

With the deal done, the addition of Imagine’s people and technology will place Harris Broadcast in more direct competition with vendors such as RGB Networks, Elemental Technologies, Envivio and Harmonic.

“The advanced Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) technology created by Imagine combines quality, density and a small footprint to greatly leapfrog anything else on the market today and improves transcoding economics up to a factor of 10 over competing alternatives,” Vogt said in a statement. “Our content creator and content distribution customers, including cable, MSO and telecommunications service providers, will benefit significantly from end-to-end portfolio integration that establishes a clear pathway to linear and non-linear viewing parity across every screen.”

“In addition to fully supporting the existing Imagine ICE Broadcast System customers and penetrating this attractive global market opportunity, we will leverage the quality and innovation in both companies to build next generation solutions around ABR, cloud PVR and Content Delivery Networks,” added Harris Broadcast CTO Steve Reynolds, a former Comcast exec who joined the vendor late last year. “Our combined portfolio today offers the most robust compression and processing solution in the industry. Imagine’s advancements and transcoding expertise in high availability, IP-centric, Linux-based environments complements existing advancements underway at Harris Broadcast and opens the door to an array of development and integration opportunities.” 

Founded in 2005, San Diego-based Imagine has raised least $34 million. Investors include Carmel Ventures, Columbia Capital, and Court Square Ventures.