March 18, 2014
IP video startup Layer3 TV announced that it has raised $21 million in Series A funding. The company, staffed by cable industry veterans, describes itself as “a next-generation cable provider” combining “the best of television, social media, and digital life.” Executives include CEO Jeff Binder (founder of VOD company Broadbus Technologies), CTO David Fellows (formerly of Comcast and AT&T Broadband), and Chuck Hasek as head of video technology (formerly principal architect of video systems at Time Warner Cable).
“Massive consolidation in the cable industry has created a greater need for innovative startups to step out and lead,” said Fellows. “Layer3 TV’s technology aims to enhance the current ecosystem, while providing consumers with simple, cool and technically advanced television solutions that can keep pace with the ‘Internet of Things.’ This is key to creating significant value.”
“In today’s connected world, the television is becoming more than just a lean-back experience — it is becoming the hub for state-of-the-art technology in the living room,” said Binder. “Layer3 TV merges the television experience with consumers’ digital lives in ways that engage and enhance the programming and distribution ecosystems.”
“Layer3 TV has been flying under the radar for months,” reports Light Reading. “At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas two months ago, executives were unwilling to provide details about the company’s launch plans except to suggest that Layer3 will not focus on legacy cable technology. Today’s announcement was still light on details, but it does hint that Layer3 will work directly with programmers, and that it will connect the television experience to the Internet of Things.”
The new company “is emerging as programmers continue to loosen up on distribution rights that enable over-the-top delivery,” reports Multichannel News. “While Intel Media didn’t pull through with its plan to create a so-called ‘virtual’ cable operator, instead selling its ‘OnCue’ assets to Verizon, Sony plans to test an over-the-top subscription video service later this year. Earlier this month, Dish Network and The Walt Disney Company announced a new carriage deal that gives Dish the rights to distribute OTT video subscription packages.”
Layer3 TV is currently based in Boston, but is expected to move to Denver. Its leadership team also includes Eric Kuhn as head of marketing and Vic Odryna as head of product development. Kuhn previously ran social media for United Talent Agency and CNN, while Odryna was CEO of Idea Arc and ZeeVee.
“The company’s name is a reference to the layers in the seven-layer network protocol architecture — with Layer 3 representing the network-routing layer,” explains Variety.