SeaChange Acquires Timeline Labs

$14 million cash, $8 million in stock for social media curation outfit
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Video software firm SeaChange International has acquired Timeline Labs, which helps media companies analyze social media messages in real time, and measure viewing audience engagement across the various platforms. Timeline, co-founded by former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, counts Fox Television Stations, Sinclair, Media General and Tribune among its clients.

SeaChange will pay $14 million in cash, $8 million in shares of SeaChange stock, and up to an additional $2.5 million in performance-based stock. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close Feb. 2.  All Timeline Labs employees, including CEO Malcolm CasSelle, will join SeaChange.

"Timeline Labs' success demonstrates that social media can be captured for the advantage of the television industry, bringing concrete, new value by truly reflecting and serving the current mindset of their specific audiences," said SeaChange CEO Jay Samit. "While the broadcast segment represents an accretive growth opportunity for SeaChange, the Timeline Labs platform will allow us to extend the social news paradigm to multiscreen television service providers, so they can easily launch ready-made and differentiated live or on-demand content packages tailored to the interests of their subscribers."

SeaChange and Timeline Labs began collaborating on the NewCoin local audience measurement venture, announced Dec. 16, between Fox Television Stations, Tribune Media and Univision. Timeline also has a hand in Sinclair Broadcast Group's social media driven newscast, The Refresh.

"Our teaming with SeaChange is an exciting stage for Timeline Labs," said CasSelle. "We anticipate cross-selling opportunities that will help us to extend our platform to new customers, including multiscreen and OTT service providers in new geographies."

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