The consolidation and shakeout of the online video sector continues: Canada-headquartered ethnic and sports online video service JumpTV is merging with NeuLion, a Plainview, NY-based start-up that sells a new online to TV streaming-video technology. The 50/50 deal will include Toronto-traded JumpTV (TSE: JTV) issue about 50 million shares (worth around $40 million) to NeuLion as part of the transaction, which is expected to close by October, reports Variety.
This merger means the new company will focus on sports programming, as well as ethnic programming for Hispanic, Chinese, Filipino and Arabic speaking audiences worldwide, and then bring NeuLion’s set-top box business with JumpTV’s video streaming, ticket management and e-commerce business. Neulion was behind NHL’s recent online video service launch.
NeuLion founder and CEO Nancy Li will serve as CEO of the merged company. Li’s husband, Charles Wang — the founder of Computer Associates and owner of the New York Islanders — will serve as chairman of the merged company. JumpTV president Nada Usina will be president of the merged company. Jordan Banks continues as CEO of JumpTV in the interim. As part of the merger, Wang has agreed to buy $10 million worth of units from the company, while exec chairman Scott Paterson will chip in an additional $1 million.
Earlier this year JumpTV went through a restructuring to focus on sports and Latin content, and hired Oppenheimer & Co. as its bank to sell two unrelated lines of its business.