Posts Tagged ‘Softel’

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Telestream Buys Captioning Provider CPC

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 20 2013

Transcoding and workflow vendor Telestream announced that it has acquired Computer Prompting and Captioning (CPC).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CPC, which has about 10 employees according to an article in the Sacramento Business Journal, provides captioning technologies for a variety of professional applications. The company was founded in 1986 by Dilip. Som and Sid Hoffman and has a long history of innovation.

Telestream says the CPC deal will bring it “deep expertise in captioning, which will benefit the company’s current and long term product strategies.”  Telestream also says that its transcoding, workflow automation, live streaming and web publishing products will all benefit from the addition of CPC’s technology.

“CPC is a recognized leader in captioning for television and the Web, whose customers include media and entertainment companies, educational institutions, and houses of worship,” said Telestream founder and CEO Dan Castles. “Our customers at all levels need tools to author and distribute captioning in a more integrated way. This is a natural extension of what we do, and we look forward to integrating CPC’s world-class technology into all of our products.”


Second Subtitling M&A Deal in 2013

This is the second acquisition this year of a captioning/subtitling technology provider.  In January 2013, Miranda announced that it had acquired UK-based Softel for an undisclosed amount.

So why the sudden interest in captioning and subtitling by established industry players?

Captions and subtitles have long been required by law, and the “Twenty-First Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act” in the United States took this requirement further by mandating that certain internet video content must also be subtitles.

According to the FCC’s Implementation Schedule for Captioning Internet Video Programming:

  • Live and near-live video programming must be captioned on the Internet if it is shown on TV with captions (as of March 31, 2013)


  • Pre-recorded video programming that is substantially edited for the Internet must be captioned if it is shown on TV with captions on or after September 30, 2013.


These regulations puts tremendous pressure on broadcasters, media companies, and content owners – and therefore provides opportunities for technology vendors like Telestream and Miranda who have snapped up providers of these solutions.



Related Content:

Press Release: Telestream Acquires Captioning Leader CPC

Sacramento Business Journal: Telestream acquires Computer Prompting and Captioning Co.

CPC History: The Interesting Story of How CPC Got Started

CPC Milestones

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Miranda Buys Softel

Federal Communications Commission — Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

Federal Communications Commission — Captioning of Internet Video Programming

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Private Equity Firm Acquires Telestream


© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.


Broadcast Vendor M&A: Miranda Buys Softel

Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 25 2013

In a move that it says will bolster its playout offering, Miranda Technologies announced that it will acquire Softel, ad UK-based, provider of captioning and subtitling technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is Miranda’s first acquisition since the company was purchased by Belden in 2012.  At that time Belden executives said that they intended to use Miranda as a “platform” through which they could build a larger business in the broadcast industry through strategic M&A.  Although this initial deal is a “bolt-on” to Miranda’s existing playout business, it offers evidence that Miranda will indeed continue to be a consolidator in the broadcast technology market.

According to Miranda President Marco Lopez, captioning is one of the areas of the playout chain that is often difficult to manage. “By introducing Softel’s technology into the Miranda portfolio and directly integrating it into our iTX solution, we’ll present broadcasters with further efficiencies, not only in the purchase process, but also during deployment and in post-sale support as well. Miranda will continue to support the full Softel solutions suite and honor all Softel partner agreements.”

“We’re certain our customers will benefit from the synergies this acquisition creates,” said Sam Pemberton, Softel’s CEO. “Being aligned with Miranda in the Belden family extends our reach into potential new markets and being part of this team allows us to focus on continuous innovation.”

Integration planning will be led by a team of Miranda and Softel executives, but there will be no business disruption for Miranda or Softel during the transition. The integration is expected to be complete by this summer.



Related Content:

Belden Q3 2012 Revenue Declines 6 Percent, Miranda “Off to a Slow Start”

Belden Closes Deal to Acquire Miranda


© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.


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.


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.


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.


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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