Advanced Television

Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services becomes Red Bee Media

November 9, 2017

By Colin Mann

Ericsson is renaming its Broadcast and Media Services business to Red Bee Media, the former name of the one-time BBC Broadcast unit, effective immediately.

The Red Bee Media name and brand identity will apply to all of Ericsson’s Broadcast and Media Services businesses worldwide. As part of this change Red Bee Media is now an independent business fully owned by Ericsson with operations in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, United Arab Emirates, and the US. Reports had suggested that Ericsson was looking for a trade buyer for the operation.

“We looked at not only our vision and strategy for the future but also what we, as a business, now stand for,” advised Steve Nylund, CEO of Red Bee Media. “The Red Bee Media brand has a long and rich heritage in TV and media and is well recognised across the industry. Adopting this brand will enable us to strengthen our position as an independent and agile media services organisation. It will provide the basis for our business, our people and our clients to unify around a shared identity that represents our purpose, brand positioning and values.”

Ericsson completed its acquisition of Red Bee Media from Creative Broadcast Services Holdings – an entity controlled by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners in May 2014. Ericsson announced its intention to acquire Red Bee Media on July 1st 2013, and the UK’s Competition Commission formally cleared the acquisition on March 27th 2014.

Red Bee Media was formerly BBC Broadcast Limited. BBC Broadcast was created by the BBC in 2002, by placing a range of BBC channel creation and channel management services under one roof. It was part of an agreement with the British Government to create a commercial division that could supplement the BBC’s income from the television licence, thus keeping the licence fee increases down in the future.

On August 1st 2005, BBC Broadcast, together with its subsidiaries, was sold for £166 million to Creative Broadcast Services Limited, a company set up specifically for the purchase and jointly owned by Australian-based Macquarie Capital Alliance Group and Macquarie Bank Limited. The company was renamed Red Bee Media on October 27th 2005.

Red Bee Media is a leading provider of broadcast and media services. It is headquartered in the UK and employs around 2,500 broadcast and media specialists globally. Its comprehensive services portfolio spans media management, playout, OTT, access services, content discovery and award-winning creative services and sports graphics and analysis solutions.

“It is apparent that Ericsson is struggling to sell off this asset,” commented Paolo Pescatore, VP, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight. “Many of its rivals are struggling in light of the challenging and competitive landscape. Therefore private equity could be the only realistic and viable option. However, strategically, content is proving to be a key battleground for all telcos which represents a significant step towards offering a suite of connected and smart home services. With this in mind, Ericsson was undoubtedly bringing together a strong suite of assets in TV. Moving forward, we expect to see rivals such as Huawei and Nokia place more focus on this area as a means of differentiating their offerings beyond connectivity.”


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