ESPN Buys PVI Intellectual Property From Cablevision

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ESPN has acquired substantially all of the intellectual property of PVI Virtual Media Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cablevision Systems that provides technology to insert computer-generated images into TV broadcasts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies said some rights to PVI's technology have been separately sold to a third party, which was not identified.

Under this agreement, ESPN will hire substantially all of Lawrenceville, N.J.-based PVI's engineering staff. The deal will give ESPN the rights to substantially all of PVI's intellectual property including intellectual property relating to virtual insertion, player tracking, interactive TV applications and 3D graphics development.

"This is another acquisition that augments ESPN's leadership position in innovation and technology development," ESPN executive vice president of technology Chuck Pagano said in a statement. "PVI has developed some of the television industry's leading virtual content, and now the addition of their engineering team will help ESPN continue to invent ground-breaking production enhancements for our fans."

Earlier in 2010, ESPN acquired Vistas Unlimited, which developed the technology needed to launch ESPN 3D. The company's technology division in October 2009 opened an Innovation Lab at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Fla.