TORONTO—Nextologies LIMITED, a provider of broadcast video delivery network solutions, has acquired The Video Call Center LLC (VCC), a Palisades, NY-based company that specializes in remote media production and delivery technology, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction, which Nextologies says will help it transform its services into a “glass to glass remote workflow solution,” was finalized on Dec. 23, 2022, and the new division will retain the VCC brand and continue serving its entire client portfolio.
In August 2022, VCC owner Wolzien LLC announced that patents and other intellectual property developed by VCC had been split off into a new company, Video River Group LLC. As part of the transaction, Nextologies is licensing the global patent portfolio amassed by VCC and held by its affiliate Video River Group LLC.
VCC, which counts Discovery, NBC, Fox Sports, CBS and the NFL among its clients, has been a pioneer in adapting the use of smartphone technology in expanding and improving cloud-based live television remotes. And while advances in smartphone technologies and connectivity were prompting professional media companies to look closer at using such consumer-grade devices in their live remotes in recent years, the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020 accelerated the move when the pandemic forced networks and local stations to almost exclusively rely on home-based live remotes.
However, Nextologies CEO Sasha Zivanovic noted that VCC’s work in the live remote production space was impacting the industry long before the pandemic.
“When the pandemic forced many media companies into remote production, our partners called on us to create a solution as quickly as possible. Because at our core, Nextologies is a problem-solving company, that’s exactly what we did. We built a solution, called NexToMeet, and it was being used in major productions within 30 days,” says Sasha Zivanovic, CEO, Nextologies. “But what’s exciting about VCC is that they’ve been enabling remote video feeds and production way before Covid. We’re getting the chance to bring on this deep bench of experience in all aspects of remote production enablement and workflows and then inject it with a steroid shot of Nextologies engineering innovation.”
In 2020, faced with their partners’ urgent remote production needs, Nextologies developed NexToMeet, their browser- and mobile app-based remote production solution, an instant web/mobile to SDI video network that allowed them to execute numerous events, including UFC, XFL, WWE, NBA SpaceX, Top Rank Boxing and American Idol.
“Our NexToMeet solution was our first step into the remote workflow and production arena, but now that we’ve all seen the huge potential, we knew it was possible to do so much more. With the VCC acquisition, we are able to bring on a team that’s deeply experienced in the entire remote interview process. And we’re adding the VCC remote management plane, which has been vetted and refined over years of serving many happy high profile productions.”
Former VCC CEO Larry Thaler, who will consult with Nextologies after the close, says, “I am incredibly proud of the VCC team, creating new categories in production services and SaaS, while servicing 70 major media companies and over 30,000 remotes. In order to grow, VCC needs to be part of a company with additional products and services, a larger, more global sales team, and greater engineering resources. Nextologies is exactly that kind of company.”
“VCC and its extraordinary team have made great strides in creativity, customer service, and innovative products while amassing a global intellectual property portfolio,” says Tom Wolzien, founder and chairman of VCC and parent Wolzien LLC, “but the businesses of smaller companies need the global operational and financial resources to grow, and it is exactly those resources that a dynamic company like Nextologies will bring.”
In fact, as Nextologies takes the helm of VCC, the transaction is precisely the kind of growth the company’s leadership was seeking. “We’re growing quickly as a company, fueled by the engine of ingenuity at our core. VCC is just one opportunity where we can bring a developing company into our family and empower its growth with our innovative engineering and resources. We look forward to doing the same for other companies who are seeking a way to achieve their next level of development.”
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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.