Hibernia Atlantic acquires major IPTV player MediaXstream

17 Dec 2009

Investor Ken Peterson’s Hibernia Atlantic, which owns Magnet Networks in Ireland and is deploying the Project Kelvin trans-Atlantic network into Ireland, has acquired a major internet TV and broadcast production company for an undisclosed sum.

MediaXstream Inc is a leading provider of high-quality transport and managed network services for the media production and broadcast industries and is currently operational in 20 major markets in the US and Europe.

The company is serving the increasingly growing demand for high-definition video networking and production services by TV and film production, sports, news, mobile content and IPTV.


By adding MediaXstream’s high-quality transport services to Hibernia’s already robust financial and carrier-focused network, the combined reach, performance and product offering will add significant marketplace opportunities, technological innovation and customer value. Moving forward, MediaXstream will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Hibernia Atlantic.

Hibernia Atlantic’s transatlantic and terrestrial cable network offers more than 70 points of presence throughout Ireland, Canada, the US, the UK and mainland Europe on more than 24,000km of optical-fibre network. The fibre-optic transatlantic cable system owned by Hibernia was originally laid by 360 Networks at a cost of €900 million.

It was acquired by Ken Peterson’s Columbia Ventures several years ago for a fraction of that sum at just US$18 million after 360 Networks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

Project Kelvin

In June, the network was augmented by the €30-million ‘Project Kelvin’ fibre cable that will link Ireland to 24,000km of undersea cable connecting Ireland with the US, Canada and the UK when it came ashore at Portrush, Co Antrim.

Project Kelvin, supported by €30 million in public funding, is a joint co-operation project between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Belfast and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, which is partly financed by the EU under the North-South cross-border co-operation programme.

The direct transatlantic cable will give North American companies operating in Ireland greater cost control for connectivity by eradicating expensive connections via the UK or Europe to Ireland, which up to now has been their only option.

Hibernia Atlantic says that the newly combined network capabilities as a result of the MediaXstream purchase are ideal for global media and broadcast companies looking for high performance, security, and local and global connectivity.

“We are combining the strengths and network reach of both companies to respond to the significant growth of the enterprise and media markets,” states Ken Peterson, chairman of Hibernia Atlantic and CEO of Columbia Ventures Corporation.

“We are finding that more and more media companies are migrating to multi-service network infrastructures, and away from satellite, in order to satisfy their production and broadcast requirements. As demand accelerates, customers are making the shift from analog to digital and from standard definition to high definition. 

“Large enterprises are also adding multi-service network infrastructures capable of supporting high-definition video as critical elements of their daily operations. The combination of MediaXstream with Hibernia’s secure and diverse North American and European network positions the combined company for continued rapid growth.”

10 markets

Hibernia Atlantic significantly expands the network reach of MediaXstream into more than 10 key European markets while MediaXstream expands Hibernia’s North American network to 17 additional key Points of Presence in 14 new cities in the south and west, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Washington DC, Baltimore, San Diego and Las Vegas.

The acquisition enables Hibernia to offer customers critical monitoring support from its Dublin Network Operations Center (NOC) and MediaXstream’s Television Operating Center (TOC) in Baltimore, MD.

“We are excited to be a part of the Hibernia Atlantic family and will bring high-quality transport and managed network services to Hibernia’s best-of-breed network services,” states Del Bothof, president of MediaXstream.

“Additionally, MediaXstream will benefit greatly from the financial and wholesale strengths of Hibernia. We are excited to extend our customers’ access into Europe and beyond over Hibernia’s fast and secure network. This deal reflects our commitment to our customers to provide the highest quality network service.”

MediaXstream speciality

Operating the largest, national, state-of-the-art optical switching and Dynamic Transport Mode (DTM) network, MediaXstream specialises in transporting flawless digital and high-definition content in its native formats as demanded by TV and film production companies, mobile carriers and other customers who generate and manage media content, explained Bjarni Thorvardarson, CEO of Hibernia.

“With this acquisition, Hibernia is expanding our product portfolio to our worldwide customers and leveraging both companies’ network expertise to offer an innovative network choice to media and enterprise customers alike,” Thorvardson said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years