Arqiva, the transmission and media services company that owns the terrestrial television infrastructure in the United Kingdom, has acquired Capablue, a provider of connected television solutions. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. The company will become part of the digital platforms division of Arqiva.
“With the rapid expansion of high-speed broadband connections and the growth in ownership of internet-enabled televisions and other devices, Arqiva needed to broaden its offering,” said Charles Constable, the managing director for digital platforms at Arqiva. “We have had a strong relationship with Capablue for many years making them the logical choice to expand our capabilities, accelerate our growth and extend our customer proposition in this exciting new area.”
Tom Cape, the founder and chief executive of Capablue, said the strategy of his company has evolved from being a front-end application specialist to providing a fully managed, end-to-end solutions for internet connected televisions. “Working as part of Arqiva’s Digital Platform division enables us to evolve even further and become leaders in multi-screen distribution and video on demand.”
Arqiva has been bolting on businesses to extend its capabilities in connected television. In 2012 it acquired Connect TV, which uses MHEG to connect Freeview HD receivers to channels delivered over broadband.
A shareholder in YouView, Arqiva joined the Project Canvas consortium in 2010. It is not entirely clear what it gets out of the deal other than a seat at the board.
In 2009, Arqiva acquired SeeSaw, a previous online initiative from the UKVOD consortium of broadcasters, otherwise known as Project Kangaroo, which was blocked by the Competition Commission. Arqiva pulled the plug on the venture in 2011. Capablue worked on the design of the platform and its founder acted as interim chief technology officer on the project.
Capablue specializes in the design and development of online video, connected television and cloud-based television and video services. The Capablue Connected platform includes a user interface framework, and systems for content and customer management and payments.
Multichannel company UKTV recently launched catch-up services developed by Capablue on YouView for its Yesterday and Really channels, joining its Dave entertainment service.
In the year to September 2013, Capablue reported assets of under £400,000 and an annual loss of £300,000.
Established in 2005, Arqiva can trace its roots to the original transmission networks that supported the BBC and independent television in the United Kingdom. It owns over 1,100 television transmitter sites in the United Kingdom and owns a number of digital television multiplexes.
Arqiva receives over £800 million a year for its services but has billions in long-term debt.
With the emerging importance of hybrid broadband and broadcast platforms, Arqiva has been attempting to secure its role in such services. With Capablue it gains an experienced team with design and development capabilities to extend its offering to broadcasters.