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MCI Moves Aggressively Into IP Media Delivery
Still targeted by would-be acquirers, MCI showed Tuesday that it, too, can make acquisitions. It unveiled plans to obtain Interactive Content Factory (ICF), a leading provider of IP-based media and entertainment services.
Previously, MCI agreed to be acquired by Verizon Communications, which announced Monday that it has acquired rights from NBC Universal Cable to distribute several programming outlets for delivery over Verizon's FiOS TV service. An ICF acquisition by MCI would fit neatly into Verizon's drive to accumulate programming for its FiOS service, which is expected to go live later this year.
Sources at both MCI and ICF were asked whether Verizon had approved the ICF acquisition. Both declined to state whether Verizon had been involved in the deal and financial terms of the agreement were not released.
"We're not disclosing the dollar figure at this time," said Natasha Haubold, an MCI spokesperson. "What's important is that this allows MCI to be a very competitive player in (delivering) IP media content."
ICF is a unit within TWI's interactive division, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMG Worldwide. TWI bills itself as the world's largest independent producer, packager, and distributor of sports programming. John Watson, TWI's vice president of business development, noted that ICF is expert in ingesting and managing sports and lifestyle content, then creating, editing, and producing the content for distribution. He observed that content can now be transmitted over the Internet.
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