CBS Corp. Takes Stake in TV Streaming Tech Firm Syncbak Amid Aereo Debate

7:33 AM PST 04/22/2013 by Georg Szalai
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

The company's technology, which allows the distribution of TV station content online and on mobile devices, is being tested by more than 100 TV stations

CBS Corp. said Monday that it has taken a strategic minority stake in Syncbak, a technology company working on new content distribution opportunities for broadcasters with a focus on streaming online and on mobile devices.

The companies didn't disclose financial terms.

Using location-based authentication technology, Syncbak allows local TV stations to stream their signal to consumers in their market. "Syncbak offers broadcast networks a seamless solution to replicate existing national, local and affiliate partnerships on the Internet and mobile devices," the companies said.

"CBS expects to work closely with its owned and affiliated television stations as well as advertisers, rights holders, cable, satellite and telco partners in the coming months and years as Syncbak becomes fully activated and deployed," the entertainment giant, led by president and CEO Leslie Moonves, said.

The investment in Syncbak comes as broadcasters are considering their options in case digital firm Aereo, which offers broadcast station content online, continues to win legal victories that allow its service to continue.

Syncbak's other strategic investors include the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association.

“We have admired and worked with Syncbak’s CEO Jack Perry since the mid-1990s,” said Martin Franks, executive vp, planning, policy and government affairs at CBS Corp. "Over the last couple years, we have worked with Jack as he developed Syncbak’s very elegant technology platform, which presents several interesting opportunities for broadcast networks, their stations and affiliates."
 
“Across the country broadcasters are looking for the best way to respond to consumer demand for streaming their content,” said Syncbak CEO Perry. “Syncbak’s technology provides the right solution at the right time to make that happen."
 
Syncbak’s technology is currently being tested by more than 100 TV stations in 70 markets across 31 broadcast firms representing all major networks.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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