MobiTV withdraws $75M IPO, blaming 'unfavorable market conditions'


MobiTV has withdrawn its plans for an initial public offering, blaming "unfavorable market conditions" in a request to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

MobiTV announced it intended to raise as much as $75 million in an IPO filing submitted in late August 2011, adding that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG would manage the offering. In a statement to the SEC dated July 13, MobiTV requests that its S-1 filing be withdrawn effective immediately, also asking that all fees paid in connection with the filing be credited for future use.

MobiTV offers live television, video-on-demand content and offline viewing options, delivering news, sports and scripted programming from networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, The Disney Channel, MTV and Comedy Central. MobiTV services are available across all major mobile operating systems--the firm also powers white-label services including AT&T (NYSE:T) U-Verse Live TV, T-Mobile TV and Sprint (NYSE:S) TV. Bloomberg reports that according to regulatory filings, MobiTV has never turned a profit, posting a net loss of $11.8 million in 2011 while revenues increased 27 percent to $85.1 million. Mobile operator partnerships account for 97 percent of MobiTV's revenues.

MobiTV faces competition from streaming video services Netflix and Hulu as well as applications including WatchESPN and HBO Go. Another potential rival: Aereo, backed by investors including broadcasting veteran Barry Diller, which employs tiny individual antennas to capture TV signals that it streams to consumers for $12 a month. Last week, a federal judge ruled that Aereo can continue streaming live television programming to smartphones and tablets, despite broadcasters' claims that the service violates copyright law.

"The actual appeal of what [MobiTV has] to offer from a consumer's viewpoint is relatively low," Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin told Bloomberg. "People have a relationship with Netflix, they've got their preferences managed on Netflix, they get a lot of the content they want on Netflix and they're comfortable with that."

For more:
- read this Bloomberg News article

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