Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) and Sky are leading a $45 million round of funding in Roku Inc. , the maker of a popular video streaming player that already supports HBO GO and has ambitions to support a lot more TV Everywhere apps from cable operators and other pay-TV players. Roku, which has raised more than $77 million and shipped north of 3 million devices so far, said it will use the latest infusion to boost marketing, pursue more content partners and to help fund an international expansion that has already seen the company enter Canada, Ireland and the U.K. (See Roku: Why Cable Should Go Over the Top and Roku Gets HBO Go.)
Among wins outside the U.S., Roku has already landed a deal to support BSkyB's new NowTV over-the-top video service. Prior Roku investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners and a new, unnamed investor joined the round. Roku noted that its Streaming Stick, a simplified wireless dongle that can attach to TV sets and other CE equipment, will debut in the fall. (See Roku & TiVo Tango With Tier 2 MSOs .)
BendBroadband has joined the recent Tier 2/3 cable M&A frenzy by purchasing Chambers Cable System, a deal that will extend Bend's reach in central Oregon, including Sunriver and Crosswater. Chambers has about 3,500 customers. The deal's set to close on July 31, with all Chambers employees to join BendBroadband. The operator pledged to upgrade its new acquisition over the next 14 months so customers will have access to 100Mbit/s Docsis 3.0, its TV Everywhere service and the Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS)-made hybrid QAM/IP video gateway.