Grass Valley acquires PubliTronic

Grass Valley announced that it has acquired PubliTronic, a privately-held, global provider of multichannel, integrated, automated playout solutions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PubliTronic, based in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, began operations in 1997 by developing some of the earliest integrated playout solutions with a primary focus on the European market. Its systems have grown in sophistication, enabling the company to span from small disaster recovery solutions to addressing the needs of large multichannel service providers. Its installed base of more than 800 on-air channels includes some of the largest service providers and broadcasters in Europe and around the world.

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.”

The Grass Valley K2 Edge multichannel, integrated, automated playout system is based on the technology platforms developed by PubliTronic. While there are benefits for some facilities invested in traditional playout automation to continue with that approach, it is too expensive and unnecessarily complex for many of the new players coming online. A fully integrated system offers benefits, the least of which being lower initial capital cost. Total cost of ownership is also reduced by streamlining the playout workflow as each tool — server, graphics, master control and the automation system itself — is seamlessly integrated and purpose-built to work together.

“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 multinational 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.”