Synacor Scoops Up NimbleTV

After slashing costs with a round of layoffs last October, Synacor has found a way to spend its newfound cash. (See Synacor Slashes Staff, Disses Dissidents.)

The TV portal and authentication specialist announced Wednesday that it has picked up the online video company NimbleTV . No terms of the deal were disclosed.

NimbleTV went live in 2012 with a TV Everywhere and DVR service that was designed to stream users' entire pay-TV lineup over the Internet. Unlike Aereo Inc. , NimbleTV negotiated directly with programmers and paid retransmission fees before streaming content to consumers. However, the video startup didn't create formal relationships with pay-TV operators, and that created some friction in the industry.

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Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), for example, cut off access to NimbleTV in New York for a brief time in 2013. When access was restored, subscription fees for both Dish and NimbleTV service were bundled onto one bill, and NimbleTV subscribers were required to provide a New York metro address to prove their geographic right to service.

While NimbleTV survived on its own for a couple of years, it was never able to extend its direct-to-consumer service beyond the New York and Chicago markets. The company very quietly discontinued the service in recent weeks, and now is contributing its technology to Synacor Inc. 's portfolio of multiscreen solutions.

Synacor CEO Himesh Bhise commented in a statement: "As part of the Synacor growth strategy, we are committed to both bolstering our offerings and expanding our team around video. The NimbleTV transaction is part acqui-hire, where we are adding to Synacor a team steeped in video expertise, as well as an acquisition of technology that will enable us to deploy an authenticated, linear TV service on behalf of our clients."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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