Ericsson expands broadcast ops with Red Bee purchase

Swedish vendor Ericsson on Monday announced its intention to acquire UK media services company Red Bee Media for an undisclosed sum, from a vehicle controlled by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners.

The deal will see Ericsson further expand its broadcast services strategy started in 2012 with the acquisition of Technicolor’s Broadcast Services Division. The company aims to help content owners address the convergence of video and mobility with new skills in media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services. Red Bee Media claims to be the largest editorial metadata provider in Europe, delivering more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for broadcasters.

“Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007,” said Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson. “We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities.”

The acquisition will see Ericsson acquire 1,500 employees, as well as media services and operations facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia. With 1,240 of Red Bee Media employees being based in the UK, Ericsson’s UK business would grow to around 4,000 employees and with more than one-third working in the media services business, the UK will become a global media hub for Ericsson.

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report June 2013, video is the single biggest contributor to traffic in mobile networks and this is expected to grow 60 per cent annually until the end of 2018.



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