Tata Communications Expands into N. America with Acquisition of The Switch

(Image credit: Tata Communications)

NEW YORK, and MUMBAI—India telecom giant Tata Communications is acquiring The Switch Enterprises LLC, a New York-based provider of global end-to-end live video production and transmission services in a cash only transaction valued at $58.8 million. With The Switch’s customer base including top tier sporting venues in North America, Tata says the acquisition will give the company “a strong foothold into the Americas media and entertainment market, extend its portfolio into live video production and become uniquely positioned as an end-to-end media ecosystem player in the entire content development value chain globally.”

The closing of the transaction is dependent upon regulatory approvals. On completion of the transaction, The Switch Enterprises will join the Media and Entertainment Services (MES) business of Tata Communications under Dhaval Ponda.

Founded in 1991, The Switch’s delivery network connects production facilities with 800+ of the world’s largest content producers, distributors, and sports and event venue, according to the company. Over the past several years, the company has been working with with fellow Tata customer Net Insight to deploy a 100-gig fiber backbone across the U.S. 

As the M&E industry’s demand for remote production has ramped up over the past several years due to Covid, so has the need for high-speed network services, something that Tata itself was focusing on even prior to the pandemic, when it announced its plans to launch its own 100 gig network in February 2020.  

(Also read: COVID-19 Accelerates Cloud-Based Sports Production, Says Tata Executive)

Announcing the acquisition, Tri Pham, Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Communications said, “Our combined forces of The Switch’s strong presence in North America and Tata Communications’ global position will create a formidable powerhouse in the global media ecosystem helping enterprises harness emerging digital consumption patterns to drive innovation and disruption. In addition, The Switch production infrastructure as a service model will allow Tata Communications customers to accelerate adoption of remote production from any event around the world.”

Dhaval Ponda, Global Head of Media & Entertainment Business, Tata Communications added, “The global media & entertainment industry is at a once-in-a-generation digital transformation driven by a fundamental change in consumer consumption behaviours. Tata Communications is already helping some of the largest global sports federations, broadcasters and OTT platforms manage this disruption through our next generation digital media platform. With The Switch team, we will now be able to develop holistic, scalable solutions encompassing live and scheduled programming for television, leveraging pre-recorded and filed videos for new content creation as well as all post-production. The Switch and Tata Communications teams, together will help the industry evolve to the next level of at-venue and at-home fan engagement.”

Speaking on the occasion, Eric Cooney, President & CEO, The Switch said, “The team at The Switch has worked hard creating a market leading live production and transmission offering in the US and beyond. We are extremely proud of our achievements and the trust that Tier 1 media companies place in our services. As the media industry evolves, The Switch has an ever larger role to play in the future of live sports and entertainment and in helping our customers maximise their lucrative content. With Tata Communications we will accelerate this journey providing stability, investment and vision in support of future growth. I am excited for the future of The Switch and the opportunities that this brings to our team and customers.”

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.