Rovi acquires the four-year-old startup Fanhattan in an attempt to bring a next-generation experience to cable TV services for an undisclosed sum, but all-cash.

Rovi has made its name by providing metadata and TV guide software. The company in many regards stays under the radar but now has acquired Fanhattan. Fanhattan is a small startup that is just 4 years old and has struggled to gain traction in major markets.

Originally, the company was best-known for working to bring a next-generation experience to cable TV services. Interestingly, the deal was an exclusive cash deal, and was very black, and white from those who were close to the acquisition. Fanhattan to this point had raised $8.4 million in funding from investors, and even had 46 employees at the company.

According to Rovi, the founders of Fanhattan will be staying with the company and will be working with the Rovi team to continue pushing and revolutionizing the entire cable experience. When Fanhattan was initially founded, they had developed an app that actually gave the company a lot of buzz. The app was one that allowed users to discover video, movies, and TV shows. The unique thing about the app though was that it had multiple sources that it pulled from, instead of exclusively focusing on single-networks.

The cable industry is changing, so these changes to companies like this – and seeing companies like these work together is something that is not surprising. The ultimate goal though, for the service, was to replace the cable box, and unfortunately – as that simply never happened, the company lost a bit of its edge that it once had.

Now though, both companies working together under Rovi gives them an opportunity to focus their attention completely to delivering next-generation style TV guides. They’ll work to sell these guides to cable companies, who ultimately have the most power in making companies like this work long-term. Omar Javaid, the senior vice president of Rovi’s Discovery Group – who Fanhattan founders will be working with – noted that this deal is something both can fully get behind.

He said, “We believe the Fanhattan technologies and team will complement Rovi’s advanced metadata, semantic, discovery, and predictive analytics capabilities to offer truly differentiated solutions to our customers.”

The company has high-hopes now that the two are working together.

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