Advanced Television

Kudelski acquires Nexguard

July 8, 2016

By Colin Mann

In a move that expands its portfolio of end-to-end content protection security solutions, enriching the existing offer to content owners and pay-TV operators, the Kudelski Group has announced the acquisition of 100 per cent of NexGuard Labs BV (formerly Civolution BV), a specialist in digital content watermarking solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

NexGuard Labs BV, based in the Netherlands with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai and Rennes (France), is a leading provider of forensic watermarking technology and solutions for protecting media content against illicit redistribution. It offers an extensive portfolio of industry-leading digital watermarking tools to help media content owners, rights holders and distributors protect and manage their assets.

The Kudelski Group has 30 years of experience acting as a mission-critical partner for pay-TV operators and content owners. Its security solutions are designed to be capable of continuous evolution and dynamic upgrades to counter any security risk, in broadcast, hybrid and connected environments. The security specification and certification standard the Group has established is one of the most inclusive and reliable, reducing overall business risk for the pay-TV ecosystem.

According to André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group, the acquisition of NexGuard further strengthens its content protection offering and represents a key milestone in executing its growth strategy in security.

Watermarking is a key component of the content protection chain, helping to prevent illegal sharing, ensure full traceability and provide guarantees to end-users in terms of quality. The use of this technology has become a major requirement from content owners, especially regarding 4K, High Dynamic Range or live sports events distribution. It also helps pay-TV operators ensure that content is not distributed illegally.

The watermarking technology developed by NexGuard does not impair the viewer experience and is robust against severe degradation of the content. It will reinforce the Kudelski Group’s existing watermarking technology, anyMARK, and will be available on all Kudelski Group digital television products.

The acquisition of NexGuard Labs follows the acquisitions of Civolution’s Teletrax business by 4C and Civolution’s audio watermarking business by Kantar Media. Since the formation of Civolution as a spin out of Royal Philips Electronics in 2008, the company created a portfolio of watermarking and fingerprinting content identification solutions powering a variety of applications. This transaction is the third and final successful exit of a Civolution business unit.

“I’m very pleased that Kudelski is acquiring Civolution’s NexGuard business unit as it’s a great fit for its technologies, its talented employees and will ensure that customers can continue to benefit from NexGuard forensic watermarking as part of the renowned Kudelski digital security product and services portfolio,” says Alex Terpstra, Chairman, Civolution Holdings BV. “This is the third and final acquisition of the Civolution businesses following the 2008 spin-off of the content identification technologies from Royal Philips Electronics. I would like to thank all Civolution staff for their hard work and dedication, and Amsterdam-based Prime Ventures for its support during this exciting journey.”

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