Cisco completes acquisition of video software vendor NDS

Networking giant Cisco said today that it has completed its acquisition of NDS Group, a provider of video software and content security systems for service providers and media companies.

Cisco announced its intention to buy NDS Group for $5 billion (£3.2bn) back in March – the most significant acquisition for Cisco since it bought videoconferencing leader Tandberg in 2009. The move is indicative of the company's intent to lead the service provider video market, where its Videoscape initiative and Scientific-Atlanta set top boxes are targeted.

NDS software and services are designed to create pay TV video offerings for service providers that enable subscribers to view, search and navigate digital content on any device. Its products include set-top/DVR software, program guide, software, digital-content software, and video headend systems, and customers include Cox and DirecTV, among many others.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Ittai Kidron said in a research note earlier this year that the acquisition would make Cisco the largest provider of service provider video solutions.

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“The video entertainment industry is in the midst of a major market transition with consumers demanding high quality video experiences that are inherently more immersive, engaging, mobile, and social,” said Jesper Andersen, senior vice-president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG), in a blog post.

“The NDS product suite and delivery model dovetails nicely with our Videoscape platform. Our shared vision focuses on an open architecture, multi-vendor partnerships and customised solutions, protecting customers’ investments today and paving the way for future growth.”

With the close of the transaction, NDS's operations, including sites in the United Kingdom, Israel, France, India and China, and 5,000 employees will join the SPVTG.

Dr Abe Peled – formerly NDS chairman and CEO – becomes senior vice-president and chief strategist for Cisco's Video and Collaboration Group, of which SPVTG is a part, and reports to Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Video and Collaboration Group.