Cisco Systems Inc. is poised to challenge SeaChange International Inc. and Ericsson AB in the video backoffice market after striking a US$99 million deal to acquire BNI Video, a startup that counts Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. among its financial backers.
Cisco said it intends to integrate BNI's backoffice and content delivery network (CDN) analytic capabilities into Videoscape, an IP-focused TV Everywhere platform that Cisco is developing for cable MSOs and other service providers. BNI's employees would join the Service Provider Video Technology Group. The deal is expected to close before February.
Founded in 2009, BNI Video has not announced any customers, but Comcast Interactive Capital and TW Cable helped lead a $16 million B round in the startup last year. Cisco participated in BNI Video's $6.8 million A round. BNI Video CEO Conrad Clemson, a former Broadbus Technologies exec, told Light Reading Cable in the fall of 2010 that the company expected to pull in "meaningful revenue" in 2011.
BNI Video's claim to fame is a video control plane that can manage cable's use of CDNs and to help them deliver video to connected consumer electronic devices including Blu-ray players, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. BNI Video's Evolution Video Control Plane, by the way, is a 2011 Leading Lights finalist in the Best New Product (Cable) category.
Why this matters
A next-gen video backoffice for multi-screen delivery has been missing from Videoscape. Although Cisco insists that Videoscape will play nice with others, the addition of BNI Video would let Cisco take more control of the ecosystem it's pitching to MSOs. (See CES 2011: Cisco Wants Videoscape to Play Nice.)
SeaChange and Ericsson are the incumbents here, having developed new backoffice systems with TV Everywhere components. Competition would heat up considerably if they had to deal with Cisco rather than little ol' BNI Video.
(See SeaChange Gives Liberty Shot of Adrenalin and SeaChange Gives VoD a Shot of 'Adrenalin' .)
Read more about BNI Video and Videoscape.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable