Tribune Digital Buys What’s-ON

Tribune Digital Ventures, the technology arm of Tribune Company, said it has acquired What’s-ON, a TV search and electronic program guide data provider for India and the Middle East.  Tribune’s Asian subsidiaries, including Tribune Digital Ventures Singapore Pte Ltd, are purchasing all of the shares of What’s-ON for $27 million.

Tribune Digital said the deal expands its TV listings and video metadata footprint to more than 50 countries and its overall reach to more than 600 million TV subscribers. 

What’s-ON provides EPG data and TV search products for 16 countries, including India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kenya and Sri Lanka. The company also delivers data for more than 1,600 TV channels and helps power more than 50 million set-top boxes through the region’s top cable and IPTV services, said Tribune Digital, which acquired music and video tech and metadata firm Gracenote from Sony earlier this year.

What’s-ON customers include a mix of programmers, service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers, including STAR TV, Discovery Networks, Hathway Cable, Qatar Telecom, Samsung and Sony, among others.

“The acquisition of What’s-ON fits within our broader strategy of diversifying revenue and scaling our metadata business to meet increasing client demand,” said Peter Liguori, CEO of Tribune Company, in a statement.  “The strategic investments we made over the last year expand Tribune’s presence internationally and enable us to offer a trusted solution to cable, Internet and consumer electronics clients globally.”

What’s-ON will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Mumbai. Its leadership team, including founder and CEO  Atul Phadnis, will remain with the company.

 Edelweiss Capital served as the investment bank for What’s-ON.