The IP Prime conversion race is on, and apparently Avail Media just jumped out to the lead. They announced today they have converted 9 former SES AMERICOM IP Prime affiliates to their managed IPTV platform. Once former competitors, IP Prime and Avail Media offer a managed IPTV service for smaller telco and cable operators, providing content aggregation and an end-to-end integrated IPTV technology platform. SES AMERICOM announced in December 2008 that they would cease their IP Prime service, effective July 31, 2009. At the time of the IP Prime shut down announcement, SES indicated they had 70 affiliates. Truth be told, that was probably a pretty loose definition of affiliate. A fraction of that number were actual IPTV service providers with paying subscribers on their system. With the addition of the new IP Prime affiliates, Avail Media now counts 108 affiliates for IPTV and VOD, of which 62 are opting for the full turnkey managed IPTV product. The remainder use Avail’s VOD platform. Avail Media COO Jon Romm tells us, “These transactions validate that the SES shut down was not a market demand issue. There is demand for an aggregated IPTV platform solution.”
The former IP Prime affiliates are ‘prime’ targets for companies like Avail who are anxious to convert them to their managed IPTV and VOD service offering. Echostar’s VIP TV, an Avail competitor, recently announced their intention to pursue former IP Prime affiliates as well. It’s a unique opportunity for Avail and their competitors to grab significant market share of tier 3 and 4 IPTV service providers in an abbreviated timeframe. “Avail Media offered a ‘one-stop’ solution that allowed us to continue marketing video content to our subscribers with no downtime or interruptions in service. In today’s hyper-competitive environment, we wanted the switch to be invisible to our customers,” said Derrick Bulawa, CEO, BEK Communications, a new Avail affiliate, in an Avail company statement.