More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Grass Valley Buys PubliTronic, Enters Integrated Playout / Channel-in-a-Box Market

Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 12 2011

Grass Valley announced today that it has purchased PubliTronic, a Netherlands-based broadcast technology supplier.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PubliTronic provides integrated playout or channel-in-box (CiaB) solutions for broadcast playout applications.  According to Grass Valley executives, CiaB solutions have been deployed by approximately 5% of the market today and represent “one of the fastest growing segments in broadcasting, [and is] expected to increase significantly over the next three years.”

PubliTronic’s CiaB product provides an integrated playout package featuring a video server, media management, automation, broadcast graphics and other master control functionality.  PubliTronic’s products will be incorporated into the Grass Valley product line-up and will be re-branded as the Grass Valley K2 Edge.

The acquisition of the PubliTronic product line complements the existing Grass Valley server product business and puts Grass Valley into the automated playout business, which is shaping up to be one of the next battlegrounds in the broadcast technology business.  It was certainly one of the most important trends at the recent IBC 2011 trade show.

With the purchase of PubliTronic, Grass Valley joins the growing list of broadcast vendors who are making major bets in this area.  In addition to Miranda, Evertz, Snell, Grass Valley, PlayBox and VSN; who are now all vying for leadership in this segment, I’ve heard rumors that other firms including both Harris and Harmonic (Omneon) could launch CiaB products by NAB 2012, making this both a hot topic and a very crowded space.

With most CiaB systems providing similar functionality, it will be important for Grass Valley to differentiate itself from its competition.  In a statement, the company sought to do this, saying: “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.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Grass Valley Extends Leadership in IT-based Playout Solutions with Acquisition of Integrated Playout Solutions Provider PubliTronic

Press Release: Grass Valley Announces New K2 Edge Automated, Multichannel, Integrated Playout Solution

Announcement Coming From Grass Valley

BC 2011 Trends: Cloud, Channel-in-a-Box, 3D

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