Video services

Omniverse Lawsuit Scares Off Clikia

A lawsuit filed against Omniverse One World Television has caused another OTT-TV service provider to pull up stakes and leave the scene.

Clikia, a company traded on the over-the-counter Pink Sheets with previous linkages to Omniverse, announced last week the immediate suspension of its streaming TV subscription service, noting that the decision stemmed directly from the lawsuit filed by a handful of large studios alleging that Omniverse is violating copyright rules. Silicon Dust, another company that was once connected to Omniverse, recently shut down its OTT-TV service, branded as HDHomerun Premium TV.

Omniverse and its CEO, Jason DeMeo, have argued that its offering is legal; it was created by way of a joint venture with a New Jersey-based private cable operator called Hovsat that purportedly has a 100-year deal with DirecTV. That deal, Omniverse told the court, has "no limitations" concerning US market reach and delivery method.

But Clikia is apparently taking no chances, noting that its analysis, which included assistance from "numerous participants in the OTT industry," determined that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, "as presented, will prevail against OOWT [Omniverse One World Television]." That, Clikia reasoned, would stop Omniverse's delivery of OTT programming to third parties and, in turn, partners such as Clikia.

In a release, Clikia noted that it obtains a "vast majority of its OTT programming" via an agreement with an unnamed third party that obtains its programming from Omniverse. Clikia didn't identify that third party, but a source familiar with the way this is all structured said Omniverse has worked with "master reseller" partners. Flixon Media, which recently rebranded its OTT-TV service as "Omni Go," is believed to be one of them. Another Omniverse partner, TikiLive, touts on this web page that it can to "white label the complete [OTT-TV] solution to your company name," and appears to have a similar master reseller deal.

Clikia has not revealed how many OTT-TV customers it had, but, based on the complete lack of complaints on its Twitter feed about the decision, it's safe to say that few tears are being shed. At last check, the company's Twitter account and its web site mention nothing about the decision to shutter the streaming service. It's now mostly vacant web site notes that it's undergoing maintenance.

Short on Details
Clikia's tagline needs to be updated, posthaste.
Clikia's tagline needs to be updated, posthaste.

In the wake of the decision to dismantle the OTT-TV service, Clikia announced on April 15 the resignation of CEO David Loflin and a change-in-control that has resulted in the company taking fractional ownership in a private jet charter and aircraft maintenance business based in Wisconsin.

That not-at-all-tangential-to-video business is now headed up by Dean E. Sukowatey, who acquired voting-controlling ownership from Loflin, is a pilot, and has hired a dedicated aviation staff for this new initiative, according to the company.

There's never a dull moment on the Pink Sheets, evidently!

And thus end Clikia's flirtation with pay-TV. Clikia, which changed its name from MK Automotive about 20 months ago, announced its intentions to offer a pay-TV package with big-name programmers in August 2017. At the time, did not mention the Omniverse affiliation. When this reporter asked Loflin why programmers mentioned in the announcement had not heard of Clikia, he responded: "That does not surprise me at this moment."

Catch up on the Omniverse saga:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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