Video services

NDS Eyes an IPO

Here's a look at what's movin' and shakin' in the cable world.

  • Video security and software firm NDS Ltd. went private in February 2009, but is apparently eager to try the public route again as it looks to raise more than $100 million from an IPO. NDS, which filed its F-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last month, is currently controlled by Permira Advisors LLP and News Corp. (NYSE: NWS). According to the F-1, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Sky are NDS's two largest clients, representing 22 percent and 17 percent respectively of the company's third-quarter 2011 revenues of $210.3 million. NDS posted a $3.5 million profit in that period, versus a loss of $3.56 million in the year-earlier quarter. NDS, which has about 4,700 employees, has applied to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the "NDSG" ticker.

  • Roku Inc. is developing a thumb-drive-sized Streaming Stick that plugs into a TV's High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port and provides access to a range of apps on the company's broadband box. It's set to go on sale during the second half of 2012 and retail for between $50 to $100, according to The New York Times.

  • Roku has also scored access to some Showtime Networks Inc. fare, including HD-quality sample episodes of original series and behind-the-scenes clips. Brightcove Inc. is on board to deliver the content via its Video Cloud platform. Roku recently obtained rights to offer HBO Go content.

  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is working on a media server made by Motorola Mobility LLC that the telco intends to roll out sometime in 2012. Among other features, the new server will be capable of delivering video streams wirelessly to tablets and other IP devices connected to the customer's home network.

    Here's a demo of what Verizon has cookin':

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s first original series, Lilyhammer, will make its debut on the video streaming service on Feb. 6, when it will provide access to the first season's eight episodes. It stars Steven Van Zandt -- late of The Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band -- as (here's a reach) a gangster. Here's the trailer. Netflix hopes the addition will boost flagging subs growth and boost stream counts. Netflix subs streamed more than 2 billion hours in movies and TV shows during the fourth quarter of 2011.

  • A number of industry executives are starting the year with new employers. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) veteran Marty Davidson has been appointed VP of engineering and network operations at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) ; former Cedar Point Communications executive David Spear is joining Jungo Ltd. as VP and GM, North America; and ex-Charter Communications Inc. CTO Marwan Fawaz has been appointed to the board of TV Everywhere authentication specialist Synacor Inc. (See Synacor Guns for $75M IPO .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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