Turner Broadcasting System acquired a majority stake in streaming video pioneer iStreamPlanet, in a deal that will give the content giant access to cutting edge technology while allowing its new partner to continue relationships with other customers and create new business.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Turner, which had been an early investor in iStreamPlanet, will have a majority interest in the tech company, with management holding the rest.
According to some sources in the cable financial community, iStream attracted interest from several strategic players and sold the majority interest for about $200 million. The company, which was launched in 2000, plays in what has been an increasingly attractive space in the video business – its technology allows for large-scale live event streaming, TV Everywhere simulcasts and OTT multiplatform solutions. Clients include NBC – which used iStream as the managed broadcast provider for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The company also live streamed Super Bowl XLV on Fox in February 2011.
Under the terms of the deal, iStreamPlanet will remain a standalone entity and continue to conduct business and broker independent deals with existing and new third-party clients while working closely with Turner to explore new business opportunities.
“We’ve worked with iStreamPlanet in the past during the PGA Championship and they have also delivered world-class events such as the Super Bowl and Olympics to millions of viewers,” said Turner chairman and CEO John Martin in a statement. “There is no one better in the business. This partnership will expand our capabilities to offer live events within and outside of the traditional ecosystem and, by bringing iStreamPlanet’s innovative technology in-house, allow us to cultivate future business opportunities on digital platforms.”
New York-based boutique investment bank Waller Capital served as exclusive advisor to iStream in the deal.
“Turner is a media powerhouse with tremendous reach via their entertainment and live sports programming, and strong relationships with advertisers,” said iStreamPlanet CEO and founder Mio Babic in a statement. “They have been a recognized innovator in the media industry, breaking ground first in cable and then in TV Everywhere. We couldn’t ask for a better partner to accelerate our growth and expand our portfolio of multiplatform OTT solutions to meet the changing needs of content owners and consumers.”
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