Vizrt grabs Ardendo for $23 million

Vizrt, a major provider of 2D and 3D graphics to sports broadcasters like CBS, Fox Sports, ABC, and ESPN, is looking to expand its product portfolio with the $23 million acquisition of Ardendo, a developer of media asset management and editing software.

The combination of the technologies could provide a powerful punch for sports broadcasters that are looking at ways to speed up and streamline the production process of highlights and clip packages.

“The Ardendo system will obviously be a very powerful independent product but we’re working to incoporate some of our technology and theirs to manage clips, queary different servers to see what is there, and to do transcoding to publish to different devices,” says Isaac Hersly, Vizrt Americas president.

The combination of the Vizrt graphics gear with Ardendo’s cut-and-paste editing system will provide sportscasters with a single-interface solution that provides low-resolution editing of clips on the desktop and synchronization of those edits with the graphics and high-end content on the server.

Ardendo is based in Stockholm, Sweden, creating a Scandanavian-based powerhouse as Vizrt is based in Norway. The deal is expected to close no later than April 30, 2006 and is subject to due diligence and board approval of both companies.

Bjarne Berg, CEO of Vizrt, says one of the goals of the deal is to help current Vizrt customers more easily create content once and publish to multiple distribution platforms. Ardenod’s technology addresses everything form HD to Podcasts and mobile phones.

Ardendo’s product line includes Ardome for media management and archiving, the Dart ingest schedule, the Ardcap ingest station and playout control, the Adrenc transcoder and the Ardeon archive solution. Current customers include CNN, Fox Sports, Sveriges Television (SVT), Danish Broadcasting Corp., TV2 Norway, and BBC Broadcasting.

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