Move Networks Acquires Inuk for Broadcast TV on PCs

Move Networks has acquired UK-based virtual set-top box provider Inuk Networks in a deal that adds a broadcast component to Move’s ongoing efforts to distribute television over the Internet. The purchase price was not disclosed but it at least partly involved Move shares. Inuk had raised an $18.5 million second round only last June, but according to paidContent:UK, ran through its funding building a PC IPTV service that only had some 100,000 users, all university students.

Inuk already uses Move’s adaptive streaming technology as part of a deal the two companies did last year. Move, which currently powers mostly on-demand streaming but also some live events, said it plans to launch Inuk’s Freewire platform in the U.S. and Scandinavia later this year.

Inuk will remain in the UK and be branded as Move Networks, with Move’s major shareholders — including Steamboat Ventures, Hummer Winblad and Benchmark Capital — and Inuk’s major shareholders — including Wesley Clover, S4CDM and Cable&Wireless — continuing to have stakes in the combined entity.

Move has made layoffs and is currently seeking a replacement for its CEO. The company has raised $68 million from Benchmark Capital, Cisco, Comcast Interactive Media, Televisa, Steamboat Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Though it has lost a bit of sparkle, Move still counts some major customers for its high-quality TV distribution on the web: ABC, FOX, The CW, ESPN360, ProSieben and Televisa.

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