Cisco buying BNI Video for $99M in cash

Cisco (s CSCO) has agreed to acquire startup BNI Video in a deal valued at $99 million, it said on Thursday. The network equipment manufacturer will add BNI Video’s capabilities to its Videoscape portfolio, which could give it a leg up as its service providers customers shift to delivering video over IP.

BNI Video sells a hosted control plane offering that helps ISPs quickly turn up new online video services. It handles entitlement, billing and quality of service necessary to do so, and it packages those services together in a platform that can interact with service providers’ own billing and entitlements systems. This is particularly helpful for service providers that were formed through the combination of a number of legacy systems acquired over years of consolidation.

The acquisition is the latest of many purchases Cisco has made to bolster its Videoscape portfolio. It bought white-label online video distributor ExtendMedia last year, and earlier in 2011 it acquired video encoding firm Inlet Technologies. The BNI Video acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s second fiscal quarter, which ends in Jan. 2012.

BNI Video raised $16 million in a round of financing that closed last October. Investors in the startup included Cisco, Comcast (s CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable, (s TWC) in addition to Castile Ventures and Charles River Ventures.