Vizrt acquires NewTek

The acquisition creates the largest company in the broadcast space that is dedicated to enabling IT-based video production with more than 700 employees worldwide.
Vizrt, NAB 2019, NewTek, IP broadcast, IP based delivery, Software defined production, IP video, Software based playout, Video production, Multi-camera, NDI, SMPTE 2110, IP based broadcasting, Acquisition

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Broadcast graphics leader Vizrt has acquired NewTek, a specialist in live video production solutions and innovator in IP-based, software-driven solutions. The combined companies will have more than 700 employees worldwide and the acquisition creates the largest company in the broadcast space that is dedicated to enabling IT-based video production.

Coming on the eve of NAB Show 2019, this is the second M&A deal announced this week in the broadcast graphics market with Ross Video's purchase of Piero Graphics from Red Bee Media.

Michael Hallén, the current President & CEO of Vizrt, will lead the business while Andrew Cross, current President & CTO of NewTek, will assume the role as President of Research & Development of the combined company.

Founded in 1986, NewTek innovated the world’s first “television studio-in-a-box” solution, helping to accelerate the democratization of video production. NewTek's TriCaster range of products are widely used for multi-camera video production, allowing all levels of content creators to produce broadcast grade live shows and stream them direct to consumers. In recent years, NewTek has been a major force in driving the industry towards IP-based broadcasting with its NDI (Network Device Interface) protocol and NewTek IP Series.

Vizrt added that the combined companies will "emerge as the driving force in the transition to IP video for live production with NDI and SMPTE 2110, with each serving different needs. The company will deliver flexible end-to-end workflows for all levels of production and software-based products and services for media, sports, entertainment, education, enterprise, and esports."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed and closing the deal is subject to customary approvals from authorities in Norway where Vizrt is headquartered. Vizrt is owned by private equity firm Nordic Capital which took the company private in November 2014 in a transaction valued at $374 million.

According to Vizrt, NewTek was a perfect match because of their complementary software-based technology that creates an end-to-end workflow for the growing content creation market. NewTek's dedication to growing the IP technology market and access to new market segments like corporates, government and education through NewTek's valuable channel sales network are important strategic reasons Vizrt sees for acquiring the company. 

The addition of NewTek's product portfolio and distribution network will add entirely new revenue streams to Vizrt. Vizrt said while announcing the deal that their goal is to make it possible for people to tell their story using video, whether they are a kid in a classroom or a tier-1 broadcaster. The company said it is committed to delivering accessible video production tools for all markets while ensuring a smooth transition from traditional baseband to the flexibility of IP video.

“Combining our organizations allow us to pursue our joint vision of software-based video production, leveraging the power and flexibility of computing and IT-based systems,” said Michael Hallén, Vizrt CEO. “The combined business will be very well positioned to deliver turnkey systems that give creative power to any organization that has ambitions of producing content for any output platform.” 

Vizrt added that the acquisition will combine "brilliant minds that invented the NDI protocol with the innovators that invented template-driven real-time graphics. The company said going forward the R&D focus will be on software-based video technology which is "the future of the media industry".

Dr Andrew Cross, president & CTO of NewTek commented: “Taking advantage of computational, software, and network technology to make the video more accessible, and fun to create has always been NewTek’s mission. These changes have revolutionized the way stories are told worldwide, allowing anyone to create and share a show.”

“The tools from our two companies have fueled the video revolution—from kids in classrooms, little league games, and web shows, to the highest levels of broadcasting, news and sports. The combined company represents one of the most disruptive changes for the video industry in decades, however, the goal remains the same—to build a new world of IT-based video technology to grow the reach and impact for anyone with a story to share,” continued Dr Cross.

Both companies will be presenting to customers, partners and press at NAB on Sunday 7th April in the Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall. The NewTek customer and partner event will include a panel session and a talk with NewTek’s Dr. Andrew Cross.

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