12 to Watch 2005: Reggie Bradford

Jan 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

United Kingdom TV equipment company Tandberg Television’s announcement in December that it plans to acquire the American firm N2 Broadband culminated a busy year for N2.

Best known as the industry champion for “open” video-on-demand platforms that allow cable operators to mix and match equipment from various vendors, the company notched new client wins in 2004 with Adelphia and Charter for its flagship OpenStream software that enables open VOD systems, N2 CEO Reggie Bradford said.

In what Mr. Bradford called its “breakout year,” N2 expanded its presence with Comcast throughout the operator’s footprint. Cox and Time Warner also are OpenStream customers. In addition, N2 inked deals in 2004 with Discovery, A&E and Turner for software that preps their VOD content.

Mr. Bradford has been the quiet leader behind all the initiatives and deals, shepherding the work without much fanfare.

“What’s interesting about Reggie is he is so calm and matter-of-fact and spearheads his attention over all the different aspects without much ado, taking a very workmanlike approach to this,” said Scott Teissler, the chief technology officer and chief information officer for Turner Broadcasting System and a board member for N2.

Next up for N2 is the rollout of its AdPoint software, which could solve a big problem for VOD. Programmers today need to insert ads into VOD content about seven weeks before airtime, rendering it impossible to run anything but evergreen ads. AdPoint–which sources said is in testing with Comcast and other multiple system operators–would allow cable operators to insert local and national ads into VOD content on the fly.

Many programmers and advertisers agree that with the proper viewership measurement data, advertising will become a critical means to monetize the on-demand platform this year.

“You have a perfect storm brewing,” Mr. Bradford said. “As you see more and more consumers viewing time-shifted content, and advertisers looking at a fragmented audience, and basic programmers pushing the needle with on-demand content, and cable operators aggressively fending off satellite, I think that’s going to cause the opportunity for the industry to really migrate to a substantially on-demand platform.”

Tandberg plans to complete its acquisition of N2 this quarter for between $110 million and $130 million. Mr. Bradford would serve as president of Tandberg Television Americas, overseeing a staff of 180, including Tandberg’s current U.S. employees. Mr. Bradford said N2 would retain all of its employees.

“We aren’t looking for cost synergies,” he said. “The idea is to grow the business faster than we could have done on our own.”

Just the Facts …

Title: CEO and president,

N2 Broadband

How long in current position: Mr. Bradford joined the company as president in April 2001 and became CEO in July 2001.

Year of birth: 1966

Place of birth: Milwaukee

What to watch for: N2

Broadband aims to take a leadership position in the dynamic insertion of ads into VOD content. Advertising is a key area for the success of VOD.

Who knew? As a freshman linebacker at the University of New Mexico in 1985, Mr. Bradford and his 48-point underdog football team battled No. 1-ranked Nebraska to a 7-7 halftime tie and received a standing ovation from Nebraska’s 78,000 fans. New Mexico gave up 31 points in the second half and lost 38-7.