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Mergers & acquisitions

BroadStream & Auroras 'Avail' Themselves

Auroras Communications LLC and BroadStream Communications Inc. , two IPTV services companies in the Western U.S., say they'll join forces to help push their services to market at last.

Kalispell, Mont.-based Auroras and Bellevue, Wash.–based BroadStream each provide a one-stop-shop for small service providers wanting to roll out video services. Both contract for video programming, receive it at their headend facilities, encode it for IP, and send it out via satellite to the central offices of the service providers for delivery to the subscriber. (See Head End Vendors Thriving.)

Both companies are about three years old, both have about 15 employees, both are private and investor-backed, and neither have live deployments yet. The two hope the combination of their services will create a complete, ready-for-action offering in the first quarter of next year. (See IPTV Put to the Test.)

The companies aren't divulging the amount or terms of the merger, which is expected to close early next year. (See Nortel, Broadstream Team.)

After the merger, the new company will be called Avail Media Inc. Ramu Potarazu, formerly COO of Intelsat Ltd. and now CEO of BroadStream, will become CEO of the new company. Auroras CEO Diane Smith will become president.

"We both had different strengths," Smith says. "BroadStream has been strong in the middleware capability, we've done a lot of work on encoding and video compression, and we both have strong programmer relationships with the content providers." (See Auroras Uses Espial IPTV, Auroras Uses Verimatrix, and Wegener Takes Montana.)

Smith says Auroras has three small customers, each of which is currently lab testing the system. BroadStream says it has signed letters of intent with "several" customers but will wait until after the merger to begin providing services to them.

The merger comes eight months after the departure of long-time BroadStream CEO Anthony Bontrager, who cited "diverging visions of where the company should go" as his reason for leaving. (See BroadStream CEO Bolts.)

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

Mark Sullivan 12/5/2012 | 3:32:22 AM
re: BroadStream & Auroras 'Avail' Themselves We've seen offerings from satellite aggregators come and go, even in the past few months, and it will be interesting to see whether this particular announcement was more offense or defensive in nature.
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