Cisco Makes 'TV Everywhere' Play With Plans To Buy ExtendMedia

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Cisco Systems plans to acquire privately held ExtendMedia, a provider of content management systems for video, which will form a key part of Cisco's offerings to service providers looking to deliver IP video to multiple devices.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

ExtendMedia's customers include AT&T, Bell Canada and Cablevision Systems. Its flagship product, OpenCASE Publisher, lets providers ingest content from multiple sources, manage content categories, channels and playlists, and enforce usage rights. 

"We see a market transition underway to IP video, and Web-style architectures, that enable consumers to access video content wherever they want," said Kip Compton, general manager of Cisco's video and content platforms business unit, who will oversee the ExtendMedia team after the deal closes. "It really helps service providers take the video experience beyond the TV, and do that in a very consistent way."

ExtendMedia has 52 employees, of which the "vast majority" will join Cisco. The company is based in Newton, Mass., with most employees in Toronto, Canada. Cisco said there aren't any layoffs planned at this time, nor does it anticipate any relocations.

Cisco expects to preserve ExtendMedia's product road map, and eventually integrate the content-management system with other products, such as the Cisco Content Delivery Systems video-on-demand platform, residential gateways and set-top boxes, Compton said.

"A lot of our customers want open systems, but they're also looking for complete systems," he said.

Comcast's thePlatform -- one of ExtendMedia's competitors -- issued a statement Thursday saying that Cisco "continues to be one of the many CDN (content delivery network) partners that work with thePlatform to serve the market, and that should not change because of today's news. thePlatform continues to believe that giving our customers the flexibility to work with many CDN providers is the right approach."

Once the acquisition closes, the majority of the ExtendMedia team will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group (the former Scientific Atlanta). The ExtendMedia sales and professional services teams will become part of the Cisco Sales and Advanced Services organizations.

ExtendMedia had raised $33 million in funding from venture-capital firms TVM Capital, Atlas Venture and Venrock Associates.