Cisco Sells Video Business to Private Equity Group

Cisco Systems is selling its video software business (NDS Group) to private equity firm Permira Funds – reportedly for $1 billion – six years after Permira sold the business to Cisco for $5 billion.

Cisco retains video and media technology related to its core business in networking, multi-cloud, security, data, and collaboration.

Following the close of the transaction, Permira will create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video services (i.e. interactive content to set-top boxes, DVRs and portable media devices) for the pay-TV industry. Abe Peled, CEO of NDS, will serve as chairman of the new company.

“This is a unique opportunity to lead and shape the video industry during its transition with the flexibility as a private company,” Peled said in a statement. “The new company will have the scale, technology innovation, and world-class team to deliver outstanding go- to-market execution, customer engagement, and new end-user experiences.”

Perhaps wishful thinking as pay-TV operators face increasing consolidation (Time Warner Cable/Charter and DirecTV/AT&T) and subscriber losses to over-the-top video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Paolo Pescatore, VP, multiplay and media, at CCS Insight, contends Cisco’s move reflects a changing media landscape as increasing numbers of consumers switch to alternative home entertainment options such as SVOD.

“There are too many solution providers chasing too few dollars. Bottom line, many of these solutions providers have diversified and now need to focus on core areas,” Pescatore said in a statement reported by Advanced-Television.com. “There will be more casualties due to further disruption. This represents an opportunity for other providers who still focus on connectivity and delivery of video over the Internet.”

 

Hasbro Acquires Saban’s ‘Power Rangers’ for $522 Million

Hasbro May 1 announced it has signed an agreement to purchase Saban’s ‘Power Rangers’ and other entertainment brands in a cash and stock deal valued at $522 million. The transaction includes brands “My Pet Monster,” “Popples,” “Julius Jr.,” “Luna Petunia,” and “Treehouse Detectives,” among others.

“Shortly after entering into our licensing arrangement, it became clear that now was the time to begin investing in unlocking ‘Power Rangers’’ full potential,” Brian Goldner, CEO of Hasbro, said in a statement.

Created by Haim Saban and launched in 1993, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” became a pop culture phenomenon. It is one of the longest running kids live-action series in television history with nearly 900 episodes produced to date.

The TV series, currently in its 25th season with “Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel,” and 2017’s Lionsgate movie, Saban’s Power Rangers, follows the adventures of a group of ordinary teens who morph into superheroes and save the world from evil. The brand currently airs in 150 markets around the world and is translated into numerous languages.

Saban’s Power Rangers generated $142.3 million at the global box office. The title sold $14.4 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units (excluding digital) since its June 27, 2017 retail release, according to The-Numbers.com. It was also released on 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Hasbro plans to expand Power Rangers across its brand, which includes toys and games, consumer products, digital gaming and entertainment.

“Hasbro’s leadership in innovation, storytelling and brand stewardship make it the perfect company to further develop the global reach and appeal of the Power Rangers property,” said Saban, who will continue as a consultant to Hasbro.

The first set of products from Hasbro will be available in spring 2019.