Tribune Digital Ventures Acquires TV Programme Guide What’s On India For $27M

US-based Tribune Digital Ventures,has acquired Mumbai-based What’s On India, a TV search and electronic programme guide (EPG) data provider.


The 160 year old US-based startup, Tribune Digital Ventures, the technology and innovation arm of Tribune Company, has acquired Mumbai-based What’s On India. The TV search and electronic programme guide (EPG) data provider has been purchased for $27M by Tribune’s Asian subsidiaries, including Tribune Digital Ventures Singapore Pte Ltd.

The latest acquisition by Tribune Digital Ventures will help the company to expand its base in emerging markets like India and the Middle East. Besides it will also help Tribune bring more data about foreign programming to its existing markets.

However, post the acquisition the Mumbai based company, What’s On India founded in 2009 by Atul Phadnis (CEO), will continue to operate out of its Mumbai office, and its leadership team will remain with the company.

Whats’s On backed by Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and Intel Capital is a provider of EPG data and TV search products for 16 countries, including India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

The firm claims it delivers data for more than 1,600 TV channels, and helps power more than 50 million set-top boxes through the region’s leading cable and IPTV (internet protocol TV) services. What’s On’s customers include Star TV, Discovery Networks, Hathway Cable, Qatar Telecom, Samsung and Sony.

With India being 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, the acquisition makes sense for Tribune.

The deal will also bolster Tribune’s recently created technology arm of the media services company, which is focused on developing products to serve a growing market of providers offering digital video services.

According to TC, with this acquisition, Tribune will offer TV listings and video metadata in more than 50 countries and more than 30 languages to more than 600 million pay TV subscribers. Besides Tribune will also use metadata that it gets from What’s On to bolster an increasing amount of foreign programming.

This is Tribune’s second acquisition this year after it acquired music and video technology and metadata company Gracenote.