Sky, Cisco strengthen video security bond

Pan-European broadcaster Sky and technology giant Cisco have extended their collaboration to include a multi-year digital security agreement to support the expansion of Sky video services across any screen.

Co-operation between the pair dates back to the early days of Sky and its predecessor and successor companies in the UK, when the former News Corporation – a majority shareholder in the former BSkyB, was also a majority shareholder in NDS, with the broadcaster using a range of the latter’s content protection products and services.

NDS was established in 1988 as an Israeli start-up company, and was acquired by News Corporation in 1992. In 2009, Permira and News Corporation announced a $3.6 billion arrangement for buying the public holding in NDS, turning it into a privately held company. Permira held 51 per cent, and News Corporation approximately 49 per cent. In turn, Cisco announced a $5 billion deal in March 2012 to acquire NDS.

As part of the extended agreement, Sky will expand its use of Cisco’s video security portfolio, including the VideoGuard Everywhere conditional access (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM) solutions, to secure video distribution to millions of devices including PC and Mac computers, set-top boxes, tablets and other mobile devices. The agreement also includes extending these security solutions to additional Sky entities in Europe, including Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.

“Our agreement with Cisco provides us with the highest levels of security to protect our investments in content and innovation across the region and across any screen,” said Alun Webber, chief product officer, Sky. “Together, we can build and deliver with confidence, a converged experience between the set-top box and mobile devices to enable secure access for customers to content wherever they are – in or out of the home.”

“At Cisco, security is in our DNA. We have been providing security solutions for the TV industry for decades, and we continue to collaborate with innovative customers like Sky to protect against new forms of digital piracy,” said Conrad Clemson, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Platforms and Applications, Cisco. “Our advanced detection technology and security intelligence paired with Sky’s internal team of experts enables us to deliver an unparalleled level of protection through the years ahead.”

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