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Summary:

Interactive TV startup ActiveVideo Networks is boosting the availability of on-demand gaming through set-top boxes by buying TAG Networks. With the acquisition, ActiveVideo will add TAG’s gaming capabilities to its CloudTV interactive streaming platform, enabling developers to create games that can be accessed directly through their […]

tag networks

Interactive TV startup ActiveVideo Networks is boosting the availability of on-demand gaming through set-top boxes by buying TAG Networks. With the acquisition, ActiveVideo will add TAG’s gaming capabilities to its CloudTV interactive streaming platform, enabling developers to create games that can be accessed directly through their home set-top box. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ActiveVideo specializes in providing interactive TV experiences to cable set-top boxes and other consumer electronics devices, but the TAG Networks buy will add gaming to the mix of services it can deliver. In addition to the gaming development platform, ActiveVideo also gains access to a portfolio of licensed games, which it can extend to cable companies and CE manufacturers. With these ad-supported casual games, ActiveVideo says its customers can add incremental revenue streams through any set-top box or connected device.

TAG has seen high levels of engagement for its on-demand gaming channel — that is, where it’s available. According to TNS set-top box data, TAG households spent 116.5 minutes per day playing with the channel on average. Though its gaming platform is only deployed in hundreds of thousands of homes through various digital cable systems, it will benefit from ActiveVideo’s larger footprint. Through its partnerships with cable and CE manufacturers, ActiveVideo’s interactive TV services are available in 5 million homes throughout the U.S., including some Time Warner Cable markets.

As part of the transaction, the TAG Networks management team will join ActiveVideo and will move from their office in Mountain View, Calif. to the TAG Networks headquarters in San Jose.

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  1. Game Changer Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    As a addicted game developer, I somewhat ignored this news. But then I thought, “Wait. I guess this means that someone is hoping that Cable will get in the gaming business? Is this a shot across the Microsoft X-Box bow? Who are these people? ”

    No doubt this company (ActiveVideo) is trying to motivate Cable dominance (oh boy!). But that could makes strategic sense, since the cable industry could use a retention tool for their withering youth demographic (me being one of them).

    But I think the real game-changing impact will be on broadband connected TV sets. People have been talking about that for a while. But here, Sony will have synergistic field-day if this platform ever gets launched on those TV sets. Imagine, Sony TVs carrying PS3 complimentary games. LG could also see this as an easy competitive opportunity.

    Halo on all TVs?

    Interesting. Let’s see how that plays out.

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