Block Communications (BCI), the parent company of Telesystem and other firms, closed the acquisition of the intellectual property and assets of Canada’s Zone·tv. This purchase, it was noted, is expected to expand access to innovative streaming technology for all BCI companies. Zone·tv, which was formerly owned by ES3 (which itself lists BCI as a minority owner), is a rising competitor in the video streaming industry.
It was noted that the transaction should fuel Zone·tv’s growth strategy, helping secure a foothold in the video streaming industry for BCI.
The assets specifically deliver the zone·ify free streaming TV service, currently available in the market.
“With this acquisition,” said BCI Chairman and CEO, Allan Block, “BCI demonstrates our commitment to a new era of video via streaming television technology.”
Zone·tv’s “no barriers” approach to streaming is free to viewers, and does not require any specialized hardware or device. As the only ad-supported streaming service that does not interrupt movies during the showing, the company is changing the game by addressing the biggest concern viewers have in the ad-supported streaming space – untimely ad splicing. Its consumer-focused approach also addresses movie rights owners need for monetization through greater ad fill and higher CPM’s driven by the premium experience it provides to consumers. In addition, Zone·tv offers consumers a highly personalized experience by allowing viewers to easily identify and request content they prefer, with the click of a button.
Zone·tv has distribution agreements in place with Comcast, Xfinity, Xumo, Cox, Rogers, TiVo, Roku, iOS and Android, as well as relationships with content producers such as Magnolia Pictures.
“BCI’s investment is a strong endorsement of the innovative, independent service we’re building,” said Jeff Weber, CEO, Zone·tv. “This investment will allow Zone·tv to aggressively pursue opportunities to attract more customers, studios and compelling new content.”
“We believe in the model Zone·tv has created,” said Jodi Miehls, President, BCI. “Streaming’s place in the TV business is only going to become more powerful, and Zone·tv will ensure that BCI is on the leading edge of this exciting phase nationally.”
Weber, a 30-year TV industry veteran and leader on the team that launched AT&T’s U-verse service, will continue to run Zone·tv under the new ownership. BCI will retain all Zone·tv employees, further investing in product, content and marketing. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.