Grass buys playout specialist PubliTronic

Grass Valley has acquired PubliTronic, the Dutch developer of multichannel, integrated, automated playout systems. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but with over 800 on-air channels around the world, it probably didn’t come cheap.

Here’s the usual statement explaining the whys and the wherefores:

“Integrated playout is one of the fastest growing segments in broadcasting, expected to increase significantly over the next three years. With the economics of launching new channels changing dramatically, innovative approaches are needed to support this growing segment. Multichannel service providers in the cable, satellite, and telco sectors, as well as broadcasters adding secondary digital channels, can benefit from a multichannel, integrated, automated playout approach.

Grass Valley, together with its investors at Francisco Partners, see a large opportunity in this emerging segment, having targeted this area as part of the expansion strategy that it adopted after the company was acquired earlier this year by Francisco Partners. The expertise, experience, and support of Francisco Partners provides Grass Valley with the agility to make strategic acquisitions and investments when appropriate.”

“When we decided to expand our playout offerings to include an integrated approach, we had a choice: do it on our own or invest through an acquisition,” said Alain Andreoli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grass Valley. “As we learned more about PubliTronic’s technology and people, it became very clear that a combination of our talents and resources could allow us to offer innovative and compelling products to our customers quickly. This second acquisition this year after Evolution, exemplifies our strategy of entering fast growing, new segments to take full advantage of all opportunities, as it presented a key growth opportunity for the K2 server family and Grass Valley. What this acquisition brings to customers is much more than a simple “channel-in-a-box” solution. Our next-generation K2 Edge™ server is a sophisticated and very powerful multichannel, integrated, automated playout system that delivers benefits to our customers from day one.”

“This acquisition by Grass Valley is great for PubliTronic’s customers as the entire team in Apeldoorn can now enjoy the resources of a true multi-national company, complete with deep knowledge in video and server technologies,” said Harold Vermeulen, Vice President, Media Playout Solutions, Grass Valley and Founder and former Managing Director of PubliTronic. “Now, together, our technologies can bring real cost and operational benefits to the industry on a large scale.”

Multichannel, integrated, automated playout is the next evolution in the program playout market segment. While traditional playout solutions take advantage of IT-based technologies to control separate components, it is only when all of the applications—asset management, channel design, media playout, and automation—are designed to work together from the ground up, can one realize further workflow efficiencies.

“PubliTronic is a great complement to the Grass Valley team,” said Charlie Dunn, Executive Vice President, Products and General Manager, Editing, Servers & Storage Product Group for Grass Valley. “They have well engineered products and the same values and focus on the importance of leveraging IT technologies in broadcast as we do. This will not only help to quickly extend the K2 media server product family, but will help to deliver more complete solutions to our customers more quickly.”

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