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ActiveVideo Networks Acquires Tag Video Gaming Resource

5/05/2010 12:25:09 PM Eastern
San Jose, Calif. - ActiveVideo Networks said Wednesday it has acquired Tag Networks and will be adding the firm's scalable network game platform to the Active Video CloudTV interactive streaming platform.

The newly combined entity will leverage both companies' technologies "to create a powerful and versatile platform that supports both casual and twitch or fast-motion games," Active Video Networks said in a statement disclosing the deal.

Tag's portfolio of licensed titles will enable ActiveVideo to develop new revenue streams for cable system operators and the CE industry through the delivery of advertising-supported casual games to any digital set-top box or CE device.

ActiveVideo currently serves approximately 5 million homes and anticipates that the combined benefits of Tag and CloudTV will significantly drive new adoption.

"We believe that the games category, which exceeds $25 billion, is among the most significant growth opportunities for our cable, programmer and CE manufacturer customers," said Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo Networks president and CEO. "Combining Tag's advanced games platform with our own industry-leading cloud platform provides our distribution and programming partners with a single, robust solution for delivering games, social communities, iVOD, Internet video, advanced advertising, interactivity and commerce to TVs around the world."

In conjunction with the acquisition, Tag Networks' management team and staff have been relocated to ActiveVideo's corporate headquarters in San Jose.

Sangita Verma, CEO and founder of Tag Networks, and Robert Craig, chief creative officer and founder, will serve as president of Tag Games and chief creative officer of Tag Games, respectively, for ActiveVideo Networks; Tag chief technology officer Cliff Mercer will serve as ActiveVideo Network's senior engineering VP.

"Tag and ActiveVideo Networks have successfully collaborated for many years and together we have proven the value of games as drivers of television interactivity," said Verma. "Now as a part of the ActiveVideo team, we're looking forward to expanding our vision and making the Tag games platform available to other games developers and content owners."

Earlier this year, the Tag games-on-demand channel was said to be the stickiest channel on Oceanic Time Warner Cable, according to TNS set-top box data.

The TNS Average Daily Minutes (viewed) data for 2009 indicated that Tag households averaged 116.5 minutes per day in engagement with the channel.

Tag Networks also recently announced that it had established an industry record for streaming games density and scalability by supporting 2,000 concurrent MPEG game streams at 1.25Mbps with a single off-the-shelf 1RU dual quad-core server,

The Tag platform was said to be deployed to hundreds of thousands of U.S. households via digital cable. Additional deployments and trials are slated over the next 12 months.

The ActiveVideo platform combines Web video, Web 2.0 functionality and traditional television applications, to deliver an interactive environment of both linear and broadband programming. The system includes rich graphical user interfaces optimized for TV and remote control navigation; social networking; personal media; niche content; and targeted, actionable advertising.

The platform works with both legacy and next-generation digital set-top boxes and broadband-connected devices, ActiveVideo Networks said.
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