11.16.2009 01:00 PM
Wireless Cable Start-up Sezmi Secures Another $25 Million
BELMONT, CALIF.: Sezmi, a company poised to offer wireless cable
TV, said today it secured $25 million in third-round funding. Unidentified
investors joined returning backers Morgenthaler Partners, Index Ventures,
Legend Ventures, Omni Capital and TD Fund, PEHub
said. Sezmi previously raised around $53 million.
Sezmi also announced it was launching its first pilot programs in Los Angeles
and the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is soliciting participants through
an application link on it Web site, to get its service free for three months.
The L.A. line-up will include several cable channels (none from Disney or Fox),
select access to Internet video and local broadcast channels--with a limited
amount of HD. Cable channels initially won’t be available in the Bay Area, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The content is transmitted via leased broadcast spectrum and through household
broadband connections to a set-top receiver with 1 TB of storage said to be
good for nearly 1,000 hours of programming. Content providers will reportedly
get a cut of subscription fees.
After the free test period, the service will cost around $5 a month for
broadcast and online content; $25 for the tier that includes about 25 cable
channels, plus incremental fees for video-on-demand. The post-trial equipment
charge for the set-top and antenna is $300. Pilot participants will be offered
a 50 percent discount.
Phil Wiser, a former Sony executive, is a co-founder of Sezmi along with Buno
Pati. Andrew Lack, the former chief operating officer of NBC sits on the board.