Harmonic Inc is to purchase video production and playout company Omneon Inc in a $274 million (€215.53m) cash and share deal. Harmonic says it is looking to position itself as the leading supplier of video production, processing, management and delivery solutions to major content creators, aggregators and service providers.
“This proposed combination will position Harmonic to become a global leader in video infrastructure for the digital media industry,” said Patrick Harshman, President and CEO of Harmonic. “Media companies are being driven by ever-increasing demand for video content coupled with consumers’ desire to consume video anytime and anywhere. At the same time, the dramatic growth of video delivery over broadband and wireless networks is blurring traditional boundaries between content producers and service providers.”
The Omneon customer base includes the BBC, BSkyB, CBS, Comcast, Discovery Communications, Echostar, NBC Universal, News Corporation, Televisa, Turner Broadcasting System and Viacom. There is some overlap between Harmonic and its new acquisition; Harmonic’s expertise in encoding can be coupled with Omneon’s video servers to output not just baseband video but also transport streams that directly feed a traditional transmission chain or streaming video that can feed websites.
Harmonic already has already moved towards the video production sector, having purchased the Rhozet transcoding business in July 2007. Harmonic’s broader business will help position it against rival Ericsson and its TV division based around the former Tandberg Television.