Motive Television is buying Adecq Digital, a company with a platform called Bestv that enables terrestrial and satellite broadcasters to offer on-demand video, including time-shifted TV and catch-up TV.
While the deal is focused almost exclusively on the European television market, it shows that terrestrial TV broadcasters have options for competing with service providers with wireline networks.
Motive will spend about $7.3 million for a controlling 67.7 percent interest in Adecq.
Motive Television is a U.K. investment operation that last week spent about $15.5 million to buy the assets of NXvision, a Scottish maker of set-tops for over-the-top video.
Motive Television already had distribution rights for Bestv through most of Europe, save for Spain and Italy. The acquisition consolidates control of both the technology and the distribution rights for Bestv, potentially a more lucrative combination.
Not coincidentally, Motive said Adecq is on the verge of signing a contract with what it characterized as a major European broadcaster, though it did not identify the customer.
Motive TV Chairman Michael Pilsworth indicated its strategy is to offer Bestv with NXvision boxes, noting that the two companies are synergistic.
Leonard Fertig, CEO of Motive, commented: “The Bestv technology has the potential to revolutionize terrestrial broadcasting by giving DTT operators opportunities to participate in pay television, as well as catch-up television on the TV set, without need for the Internet. The board of Motive believes that this proposition is very exciting to broadcasters and that it is beginning to gain traction in the market.”
The DTT reference is to the digital terrestrial television market in Europe, which is gradually moving to all-digital by 2015.
Motive Television announced it had secured broadcast rights to Bestv in July 2009. The two companies said they’ve already met with “some success” with pilot trials conducted in August, the first with TV Nova in the Czech Republic and the second with Antenna Hungaria ZRT.
Meanwhile, in June 2009, Adecq Digital signed a software licensing agreement with Nagravision to supply services in conjunction with it to Mediaset in Italy. The Mediaset product is now in operation, and revenues are being generated from this collaboration with Nagravision. (The company lists Nagravision as potential competition, however, along with Sezmi, ADB subsidiary Osmosys, Thomson and NDS, among others.)
Bestv relies on a combination of datacasting, auto recording and overnight (remote) recording technologies, which Motive explained should optimize the more limited bandwidth of terrestrial networks and enable the non-linear services for DTT.
Bestv uses an existing DTT broadcast signal to continuously send instructions and datacast content to a set-top box in a user’s home. This results in the “best of” existing television, plus additional programming to be stored on a set-top-box, allowing for “anytime” viewing, Motive explained.
All the datacasting and automatic recording is provided on a ‘push’ basis (there is no return feed of information), so no Internet, cable or DTH should be needed, the company said.