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NAB: Grass Valley Shows the Green With New Deals

In the first press conference of this year's 2011 NAB Show, Grass Valley unveiled 14 major deals from around the world for its products, an announcement that bodes well both for the future of the company and an improved sales climate this week in Las Vegas.

In the Americas, these deals included sales to mobile production company LYON Video; Christian broadcaster TBN; production service provider LMG in Orlando Fla.; Canadian broadcast network CTV; Rede Record, Brazil's second-largest television network; and TC Television Ecuador.

In Europe, Grass Valley executives highlighted recent deals with the leading Belgian digital broadcaster BeTV (formerly Canal+ Belgium) and a major European studio facilities business, Magic Media Company.

In the Asia Pacific region, deals included work with Network Ten in Australia; Hong Kong Cable TV and CineVision Top Choice Productions, in Hong Kong; and Vietnam Satellite Television in Vietnam.

Finally, in the Middle East, Grass Valley announced that it had inked a $15 million contract with sports broadcaster Al Kass for outdoor trucks.

During the presentation president and CEO Alain Andreoli took care to address some concerns that had been expressed about the company's future when it was put up for sale and ultimately sold last year by Francisco Partners from Technicolor.

Highlighting both the sales and a slew of new products announced during the press conference, Andreoli argued that "Grass Valley has a green future" and stressed that the new owners Francisco Partners were long-term investors. "We are now very strongly funded by our owner," he noted.

As a result of that commitment, Andreoli noted that they planned to spend heavily on R&D, spending about 15% of their annual revenue in research to establish themselves as "leader in innovation."

Management was also working to transform the company and its operations, putting more emphasis on software and services as "broadcast is moving to software and service and hardware is commoditizing," he said.

As part of an effort to revitalize itself and return to profitability this year, Grass Valley also announced a number of new products from each of its divisions.

To help companies deal with the problems of multiplatform content delivery, Grass Valley introduced a new STRATUS media workflow application suite.

It also announced a partnership with software security and streaming provider Irdeto for solutions that would make it easier for broadcasters and others to manage and more efficiently distribute live and pre-recorded content to Internet-connected device.

Other major product announcements included a new 3G Transmission system that converges triax and fiber connectivity into a single digital transmission solution.

The vendor also announced significant enhancements to a number of its products, including its Trinix routers, K2 server systems, the Jupiter and Encore router control systems and its Maestro master control and channel branding system.