Tribune Digital Ventures buys out What’s-ON

MUMBAI: Atul Phadnis’ What’s-ON, a television search and electronic programme guide (EPG) data provider for India and the Middle East, has been acquired by Tribune Digital Ventures, a technology and innovation arm of Tribune Company.


The move expands Tribune’s TV listings and video metadata footprint to more than 50 countries in 30 plus languages, reaching more than 600 million pay TV subscribers.


What’s-ON provides EPG data and TV search products for 16 countries, including India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kenya and Sri Lanka.  Today, What’s-ON delivers data for more than 1,600 TV channels and helps power more than 50 million set-top boxes through the region’s top cable and IPTV services.  What’s-ON customers include some of the biggest TV networks, service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers, such as Star TV, Discovery Networks, Hathway Cable, Qatar Telecom, Samsung and Sony.


Earlier this year, Tribune had acquired music and video technology and metadata leader Gracenote.  The company’s sizable presence in EPG data in Europe, combined with Tribune Media Services’ (TMS) presence in North America, immediately positioned Tribune as a leading provider of TV data, as well as music, around the globe.  The addition of What’s-ON further extends this reach and strengthens Tribune’s position internationally.


“The acquisition of What’s-ON fits with our broad strategy of diversifying revenue and scaling our metadata business to meet increasing client demand,” said Tribune Company CEO Peter Liguori. 


“The strategic investments we made over the last year expand Tribune’s presence internationally and enable us to offer a trusted solution to cable, Internet and consumer electronics clients globally.  I’m pleased that with What’s-ON we will have a new presence in markets with significant opportunity and What’s-ON’s founder and CEO Atul Phadnis and his team will work together with Rich Cusick and Tribune’s existing TV metadata team to grow this area of our business,” he added.


India is the world’s third largest TV market, after the US and China, with an estimated 175 million homes and a growing base of digital cable subscribers, according to ABI Research.  The expansion of digital TV in Asia, featuring popular shows and movies, will enable Tribune to develop new technologies and services on top of its entertainment data that fuel discovery and recommendations on cable, satellite and over-the-top services.


“We felt it was important to find a company that shares our vision for the business and understands the growth potential for TV data and services in Asia. And we believe we have found that with the Tribune team. Tribune’s portfolio of entertainment technology and metadata will provide us a solid foundation to grow the business and expand our services throughout the region,” said Phadnis.


“Electronic program guides remain the primary vehicle for the discovery of TV shows and movies around the world,” said Rich Cusick, who oversees the TV metadata business for Tribune.  “While data remains the foundation of what we do, our evolution will be centered on data-driven services and features to help define new TV platforms and experiences for viewers around the world,” he added.


What’s-ON will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Mumbai.  Its leadership team, including Atul Phadnis, will remain with the company.  Tribune’s Asian subsidiaries, including Tribune Digital Ventures Singapore, are purchasing all of the shares of What’s-ON for $27 million subject to standard adjustments.


Edelweiss Capital served as the Investment Bank for What’s-ON.

Latest Reads
Amagi partners with BARC India to offer monitoring of geo-targeted TV ad-campaigns

Amagi Media Labs has entered into a partnership agreement with India’s apex television viewership monitoring body BARC India to help advertisers monitor geo-targeted ad-campaigns of brands across TV channels.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
iProspect conceptualises unique digital video for ICICI two-wheeler insurance

iProspect India has conceptualized and executed a unique digital video for ICICI Lombard General Insurance in their latest campaign on two-wheeler insurance.

MAM Media and Advertising AD Agencies
eBay engages consumer with live game on FB

MUMBAI: Festive season is a busy time for Indian brands, especially the e-commerce players given the shopping spree the nation witnessed around the time. Thus it becomes important to brainstorm on new and unique ways to get the consumer’s attention; something different from the unbelievable...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Culture Machine & Quaker Oats aim to feed kids

As the festive mood gathers spirit in the country, Culture Machine’s digital channel Being Indian, in collaboration with Quaker Oats, have released a new campaign. Titled "Ek Muthi Sonu ke Naam", the video urges people to pause and spare a thought to the millions of children who go hungry.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
BTVi unveils new brand positioning

BTVi has unveiled its new positioning, #OpinionsThatCount, aimed at impacting the opinions of the influencers. With this, BTVi will be the voice and choice of the influential. An integrated campaign will be launched primarily catering to influencers, key decision makers and opinion makers.

MAM Media and Advertising People
Cornitos unveils 'Crispy' mascot

Cornitos, the flagship brand of Greendots Health food Ltd, rolled out its new brand campaign announcing the launch of its mascot. With its inception in 2009, it is for the first time that the brand has given a face to its much-loved Nachos category.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Barbie's 'Power Of Play': Mattel, BBDO remind parents

MUMBAI: Mattel Asia has launched a new video for its Barbie® brand as part of its broader initiative to empower girls. Mattel Asia, takes on the widely held belief in Asia that imaginative play is not important to a child’s development, with the release of, “The Power of Play with Barbie,” a part...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Zee Mundo hires Steinbranding

MUMBAI: Steinbranding, the international design agency with headquarters in Buenos Aires, responsible for the image of more than 50 channels worldwide, was chosen by the major Indian media group, Zee Entertainment Enterprises to create the brand, naming and on-air & off-air branding for Zee...

MAM Marketing Brands
Exquisite partners with Warner Bros. consumer products

Exquisite, an innovative and experienced player in the EMEA market, has teamed up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA (WBCP EMEA), on behalf of DC Entertainment, to create the first retail loyalty programmes featuring DC Super Heroes.

MAM Marketing Brands

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories