Telstra has invested $35 million in US-based IPTV video company Ooyala, in a move that will see Telstra integrate Ooyala's technology into its IPTV platform.
Telstra will fund Ooyala through its Applications and Ventures Group, headed up by Deena Schiff. In addition to Telstra being a major investor, Ooyala also announced that the two companies are working on a commercial agreement that will see Telstra deploy Ooyala's software and analytics into its IPTV platform, T-Box. Ooyala already works with companies such as Miramax, Bloomberg, Tennis Australia, Dell and Yahoo in Japan.
Gary Traver, Telstra's director of media and appointee to Ooyala's board of advisors, welcomed the deal.
"The industry is now standardising around technology stacks that enable the future of IP-based distribution. With Ooyala's robustness and focus on personalisation and profitability, it is becoming the platform on which the next generation of large-scale deployments are built," he said in a statement.
The agreement comes amid speculation that Telstra will shed its T-Box division, as a result of the undertaking that Foxtel agreed to as part of the Foxtel-Austar merger. Telstra owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, with Rupert Murdoch's News Limited Corporation and James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings owning the remaining 50 per cent.
In April, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved the merger of Foxtel and Austar, on the basis that Foxtel make a formal undertaking that it would not lock up exclusivity rights for content on IPTV, and would make a number of Foxtel channels available to its IPTV rivals, such as FetchTV.
The Register reported in May that Telstra's director of IPTV Ben Kinealy had left the company, and that Telstra was expected to hand over its 300,000 T-Box subscribers to Foxtel.
Telstra was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of writing.