Pace looking to expand beyond PVRs
Pace is currently the third-largest set-top box maker in the world, boosted by its acquisition last year of the Philips box-supplying company. CEO Neil Gaydon says consumers are changing the way they consume TV, and a new ‘supercycle’ is emerging.
Set-top box specialists Pace’s CEO Neil Gaydon has told the Financial Times that it is looking to expand beyond the set-top box and bespoke PVRs. Pace has long been expected to launch a range of stand-alone retail devices and is now promoting its MultiDweller mini head-end system, and thus build additional business to the 16m units it expects to ship this year for many leading pay-TV operators.
Pace has had a troubled past history but those days seem well past. The current management team earlier this year issued two upgrades to its profit forecasts. This year it will pay shareholders a dividend after a six-year gap, and this optimistic picture has helped drive its share price up 43p this year to 226p as at Friday, giving the company a market capitalisation of an impressive £700m.
“The supercycle is that people aren’t just buying one of these flat panels in their home; they’re buying multiple,” he told the FT. “For example, DirecTV average 2.8 [TVs] per house per subscriber and that’s a phenomenon we’re starting to see increase as well. New products that allow people to pause, stop, rewind any TV, watch any content recorded in one room in another room will come in. Further down the line it will probably be streamed to a smartphone.”
He added that Pace will be looking closely at its MultiDweller service, which has already won a contract from Canal Plus. MultiDweller has the ability to tap into a block of flats, for example, using the existing co-axial cabling, and supplying a mini head-end to the block, and thus supplying multi-channel TV into the block over the local network. Better still, the co-axial route can be two-way.