ESPN Acquires PVI IP
ESPN has acquired intellectual property from one of the main companies behind the virtual yellow-down-line, PVI Virtual Media Services. Founded in 1990, PVI Virtual Media Services was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. The acquisition will augment ESPN’s innovative use of virtual technology across its multiple platforms. When the transaction closes, ESPN will hold the rights to substantially all of PVI’s intellectual property including intellectual property which relates to virtual insertion, player tracking, iTV applications as well as 3D graphics development while, certain rights to PVI’s technology have been separately sold to a third party.
“This is another acquisition that augments ESPN’s leadership position in innovation and technology development,” said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president, ESPN technology. “PVI has developed some of the television industry’s leading virtual content, and now the addition of their engineering team will help ESPN continue to invent ground-breaking production enhancements for our fans.”
PVI’s patented technology allows broadcast, cable and broadband networks to insert computer-generated images into live or pre-recorded video broadcasts of events, sports contests and other television programming.
“PVI has changed the way people watch sports and entertainment with its virtual insertion technology and we have no doubt that ESPN, as a programming leader, will find new and exciting ways to use this groundbreaking technology to enhance their content even further for their viewers,” PVI General Manager Jay DiGiovanni said.
Earlier this year, ESPN technology acquired Vistas Unlimited, which bolstered its virtual design team and, in June, ESPN launched ESPN 3D, the industry’s first 3D network.