SA Broadcast Giant, Newtek, Acquired by Vizrt
Article by: Jonathan Guajardo - Editor, The San Antonio Sentinel
One of San Antonio’s most prominent tech and broadcast companies, NewTek, most notable for being the creator of the TriCaster, an all-in-one solution for live broadcasting, was acquired on Tuesday by fellow broadcast solutions company, Vizrt, located in Bergen (Norway) and owned by Nordic Capital Fund VIII. According to NewTek’s press release, the acquisition “creates the largest company in the broadcast space that is dedicated to enabling IT based video production.”
NewTek is still headquartered out of San Antonio, where they relocated to in 1997 with Tim Jenison’s invention of the “Video Toaster.” Newtek began as a dream to create the world’s first “television studio-in-a-box,” and over time evolved to become one of the largest names in the broadcast video industry. With their introduction of the TriCaster in 2005, they produced what has been called, “the most complete multi-camera video production system, giving content creators solutions to create their own network-level shows and stream them directly to audiences.”
In layman’s terms, NewTek sells what are essentially high-powered personal computers with fully integrated broadcast input and output setups with their royalty free software pre-programmed into the machine, ready for operation by technical directors and video producers alike. These machines allow media personnel to rapidly switch live between multiple camera feeds, queue graphics, run audio clips, and ultimately livestream or broadcast their compressed feed quickly with high-quality video to a variety of destinations.
Various organizations from schools, to Fortune 500 companies, to prominent news organizations such as Fox News, ESPN, and MTV, rely upon NewTek’s TriCaster platform to broadcast their programs everyday to a large array of audiences all over the world.
While NewTek has traditionally focused mainly on hardware production and system integration, Vizrt specializes primarily on applications and software-based solutions incorporating complex real-time 3D-graphics, sports analysis and asset management tools. The Norway-based company also has seen much success in recent years and now features a satisfied clientele base similar to that of NewTek’s, with clients ranging from CNN and Fox to Sky Sports and VICE.
While the acquisition will no doubt shake up NewTek for a while, it seems like this will be a good long-term move for both companies, as they can combine their individually-successful software and hardware components and expand their client-base. As addressed in NewTek’s press release, “The goal is to make it possible for people to tell their story using video, whether they are a kid in a classroom or a tier-1 broadcaster.”