Disney, Sony Sell FilmFlex U.K. VOD Venture to Vubiquity

Video-services firm Vubiquity acquires digital storefront and VOD company formed by studios in 2005

FilmFlex Movies, the British video-on-demand joint venture of Sony Pictures Television and The Walt Disney Co., has been acquired by digital-video services firm Vubiquity.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. FilmFlex was formed in 2005 as a joint venture between the two media congloms and has active movie supply deals with 30-plus distributors, including each of the Hollywood major studios. FilmFlex currently operates white-label VOD services for Virgin Media, Channel 4, EE and TalkTalk.

Vubiquity CEO Darcy Antonellis, formerly CTO of Warner Bros., said that FilmFlex will extend the company’s relationships with major global content and service providers and also will give it new licensing and digital storefront capabilities.

“With FilmFlex we add additional studio assets and licensing, and gain important front-end technology to enable (electronic sell-through) and other monetization models for multiplatform video consumption,” she said.

To date, FilmFlex has enabled more than 90 million VOD transactions and has processed some 5,000 film titles through its service. The London-based company touts its service as offering more new releases to rent than are available to stream via Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Instant Video.

Vubiquity plans to combine FilmFlex’s digital storefront, assets and capabilities with its AnyVU Cloud platform, which provides a library of licensed content for both linear and on-demand with support for set-top box delivery, direct-to-subscriber streaming and electronic sell-through (EST).

FilmFlex CEO Jeff Henry and the rest of the venture’s 30 employees are joining Vubiquity. “We look forward to continued growth together as we integrate our companies,” Henry said in a statement.

Vubiquity, based in Reston, Va., changed its name from Avail-TVN last year. The privately held company now has more than 600 employees worldwide. It provides services including VOD encoding, file management and delivery, as well as multiplatform services that support TV Everywhere and subscription VOD offerings for connected devices. Investors include The Carlyle Group, Columbia Capital, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Pioneer Venture Partners and Valhalla Partners.

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