Avid Completes Orad Acquisition

BURLINGTON, MASS—Avid announced this week that it has finalized its acquisition of Orad Hi-Tec, the Israeli-based provider of graphics, MAM, video wall and virtual set systems to the broadcast and professional video markets. The $65 million deal was announced in April.

Avid says there is very little product overlap, describing Orad’s product line as “highly complementary” to the AvidMediaCentral platform, Avid’s open production system that works on both cloud-based and on-premises systems. Orad’s products cover a wide range of graphics systems for weather, sports, news, and includes virtual and augmented reality products as well as graphics playout and media asset management. Orad has more than 600 customers worldwide.

Despite the minimal product overlap, the two companies share a similar customer base, according to Bill Neuman, vice president of products for Avid Technology, based in Burlington, Mass.

“We believe with the technology Orad has brought to market and the areas that they are playing in—like virtual studios, studio walls and graphics—is very complementary to what Avid has brought to market,” he said. “We are already integrated in many ways with Orad and I think that’s going to make the ‘go to market’ easier for our existing customers that are already using our products together.”

Key Orad systems are already integrated with products on the Avid MediaCentral platform including graphics integrations with Avid iNEWS newsroom management and Media Composer, as well as video server support for ingest and playout with DNxHD. Avid says tighter integration with Avid and Orad products will bring more comprehensive workflows, improved efficiency and more options for workflow management.

“Avid has probably been our number one partner in several ways, from the depth of integration to the number of customers with which we have joint installations,” said Ofir Benovici, vice president of marketing for Orad. “Most of our integration with Avid is obviously in the broadcasting environment, news and studio production.”

Among the high profile joint customers is M6, also known as Metropole Television, France’s most profitable private TV channel. “We’ve gone beyond the standard integration between Orad and Avid to create a unique workflow based on M6’s needs,” said Benovici.

Avid’s graphics products have included Deko, which it acquired when it bought Pinnacle Systems in 2005. It discontinued the Deko graphics line and introduced Avid Motion Graphics—based on the Brainstorm graphics platform—in 2011 but discontinued that product line in 2014.

“We don’t sell Deko or AMG anymore but we support them,” Neuman said. “We previously had graphics, and those were what they are, but the industry and technology has moved on in terms of capability and the kinds of solutions being offered to our customers.”

There are no plans to discontinue products or change Orad’s current business structure in terms of facility closures or number of employees. Benovici’s new title will be senior director of broadcast solutions and Avi Sharir, founder and president/CEO of Orad will stay on in an advisory capacity, according to Neuman. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.