Wireless Cable Start-up Sezmi Secures Another $25 Million

November 16, 2009
SezmiBELMONT, 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.

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