Posts Tagged ‘Harris Morris’

Harris Broadcast Business Making a Comeback Thanks to Improved Market Condition and New Opportunities in Digital-Out-of-Home

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 07 2011

Following a seven percent y/y jump in Q2 revenue and “significant improvements” in its broadcast business, Harris Broadcast Communications president Harris Morris said that the company’s broadcast business is making a comeback thanks to improving market conditions and a heightened focus on business growth drivers. 

Morris, who made the comments last week in an interview published by Reuters, also said that the company is pushing its technology into adjacent markets such as digital-out-of-home, even as the core broadcast business continues to improve.

Harris’s broadcast business has suffered over the past few years as media companies have reined in their technology spending in the face of the recession and a depressed advertising environment. 

However, for the first time in a long time Harris Corp, the $5.2Bn conglomerate and parent of the broadcast communications business, touted the improved performance of the broadcast business in their most recent quarterly earnings release.  According to company guidance, the broadcast communications division is projected to breakeven in 2011 on revenue of $520m – $540m.

As the broadcast business rebounds from the recession, Morris says the company will benefit from customers continuing their migration to HDTV operations, particularly in emerging markets such Brazil, Russia, India and China. 

In addition the core broadcast business; Harris is also focusing on new opportunities in adjacent markets, in particular “digital-out-of-home.  The company already counts McDonald’s, Harrods and the Marina Bay Sands casino as customers for its digital signage technology.  Last year Harris announced a deal with the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic basketball franchise.  More recently it landed a 10-year, $75m deal with 7-Eleven, which will put Harris digital signage technology into 6,200 retail locations, in conjunction with Digital Display Networks Inc.

This is clearly an area where the company sees continues growth.  “We’re pursuing literally dozens of deals right now across retail, food, entertainment and hospitality and live events venues,” Morris told Reuters.

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You can read the full Reuters article here.

Information about the Q2 results for Harris broadcast communications is here.

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More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Harris Buys Malibu Media Platform from Spot Runner

Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Feb 14 2011

Harris Corporation said today that its broadcast communications division has acquired the Malibu Media Platform from Spot Runner.  Terms were not disclosed.

The Malibu Media platform is an online media exchange that is designed to simplify the buying and selling of TV advertising.  Harris says it plans to transition the newly acquired technology into its broadcast products in order to enhance advertising buy-sell relationships for Harris media software.

Malibu enables cable networks, cable providers, satellite providers and stations to reach more buyers, sell more inventory and provide information to buyers across the life of a campaign. For agencies and advertisers, the system provides opportunities to find inventory faster and more efficiently, while offering enhanced strategic insights to clients. Harris also expects that Malibu will enhance advanced advertising processes for digital-out-of-home and advanced advertising models, including VOD and interactive advertising.

Harris broadcast communications division president Harris Morris said that the Malibu technology was complementary to his company’s existing media and advertising management software systems.  “We believe the longer term benefits it will bring to our clients to be substantial,” said Morris.

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You can read the full Harris announcement here.

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Brief Impressions of IBC 2010

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 22 2010

Last week I attended the 2010 IBC show in Amsterdam.  The product introductions and events at the show have been well covered elsewhere, so this is just a short note on my impressions of the show.

After spending the better part of a week in Amsterdam, and having 40-50 meetings with vendors, bankers, broadcasters and others, I came away from the show with three general impressions – the market is improving, there is more realism about 3D, and the drive toward file-based operations continues. 

It’s also worth noting that I think that these trends will probably act as a catalyst for further market consolidation as vendors seek to position themselves for the post-recession world.

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Improving Market Conditions

In terms of market improvement, many people I spoke with said that buyers were coming back and that once-delayed projects are now table. Many vendors reported that their sales and profitability have increased markedly versus a year ago.  Interestingly, there do seem to be geographic and technological differences in the market recovery.  For example, many people reported that activity in Asia, northern Europe and the middle east was strong; while southern Europe and parts of north America were still sluggish for some.  Also some types of products seem to have recovered more strongly – automation being a good case-in-point.

To get a better handle on the industry’s current status, I attended a very interesting “state of the industry” session hosted by the IABM (the international organization that represents technology suppliers), which was held on the opening day of IBC.  During the session, IABM director general Peter White presented the results of a recent survey of broadcast buyers and suppliers.  This was followed by a panel discussion that included representatives from Sony, Harris, Axon and Softel, with industry veteran Adrian Scott leading the session.

According to White, about 60% of broadcast technology suppliers are now making a profit – up considerably from last year – with European companies performing better in terms of profit performance. 

White also reported that confidence has returned to buyers, with more than half of those surveyed feeling “very or quite optimistic” about the future; and 39% reporting that they feel that the recession is over or that they are coming out of it.

However, White also indicated that things will be different for vendors in a post-recession world.  According to the IABM’s study, broadcast technology buyers are changing the way they purchase, and are also expecting more from vendors in terms of value, interoperability, support etc.

My understanding is that the IABM will be making their findings available in the near future, although I am not sure what for this will take.  It’s good information that everyone should read.

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More Realism About 3D

While 3D was a major theme of the IBC show, my feeling was that, in contrast to the CES and NAB shows earlier in the year, the hype about 3D seems to have dissipated as vendors have become more realistic about 3D’s ability to drive revenue and profitability growth.

In multiple press conferences and vendor meetings, the 3D hype was much toned down.  For example, at the Grass Valley press conference SVP Jeff Rosica referred to 3D as a niche market.  At the Harris press event, Broadcast Communications president Harris Morris referred to 3D projects as experiments.

I am on the record as a 3D skeptic, at least as far as the short term potential for broadcasters, so I was not surprised to hear this type of comments.  I should also point out that these comments are consistent with our market research findings about the most important trends in the broadcast industry, where 3D placed far down on the list versus the transition to HDTV, the move to file-based workflows and multi-platform content delivery. 

There is of course a small part of the market where 3D is and will continue to be a major growth driver.  However, it looks like the bulk of the market is now taking a more realistic approach and focusing on what customers really need.

For more on this subject, have a look at Mike Grotticelli’s article in Broadcast Engineering called 3-D Technology Finds Few Enthusiasts at IBC2010.

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IT and File-Based Technologies

It may seem obvious that IT and file-based technologies are continuing to make inroads into the broadcast market, but at IBC I was struck by the accelerating pace of change in this area.

Vendors, both large and small continue to innovate in this area in an effort to help broadcasters streamline their operations and do more with less.

The shift to IT technology is having an interesting impact on the industry, in the form of product development, M&A and outside investment.

On the product development front, some vendors have jumped into the file-based world with full force – e.g. Evertz who launched a full blown playout server and storage solution at IBC.

Others have sought to accelerate their move into the IT world through acquisition – e.g. Miranda’s purchase of OmniBus, which gives the traditional hardware supplier a highly developed IT-based playout and automation solution.  Another recent industry M&A deal between Telestream and Anystream helped Telestream consolidate its position in the encoding / transcoding / streaming space.  I would not be surprised to see more M&A in this area as traditional vendors seek to beef up their file-based expertise.

The move to IT has also helped bring new money into the industry.  For example two transcoding vendors, Elemental Technologies  and AmberFin both recently announced that they have closed funding rounds, which will help them expand their presence in the broadcast marketplace.

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