Akamai returns to roots, taps founder as new CEO

Akamai’s 8-month search for a new CEO didn’t take it too far: It tapped co-founder and chief scientist Tom Leighton to succeed Paul Sagan, who announced his intention to leave last April. Now Sagan will cede the CEO slot on January 1.

Why Limelight’s big bet on EyeWonder didn’t pay off

Limelight Networks announced today that it is selling its EyeWonder ad unit to DG for $66 million in cash, a heavy discount from the $110 million in cash and stock that it agreed to pay for the business back in December 2009. So what went wrong?

Limelight Gets Into Video Management With Delve Networks Purchase

Limelight Networks is adding video management and syndication to its suite of offerings for media and enterprise customers, acquiring Delve Networks for an undisclosed mix of cash and stock. With the purchase, Limelight will begin offering services that compete with offerings from Brightcove, Ooyala and thePlatform.

Curling on Mobiles: The Winter Olympics By the Numbers

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games were a major hit on the Net, as outlined on NewTeeVee earlier today. NBCOlympics.com clocked 710 million page views and 46 million unique visits. They were equally big on mobiles, too — far more than when they were held in Beijing.

Vid-Biz: Hulu, Boxee, Sky

At Hulu, ‘Free’ May Turn into ‘Fee’; one plan that the site is considering would allow users to view the five most recent episodes of TV shows for free but would require a subscription of $4.99 a month to watch older episodes. (LA Times)

Boxee Adding a Payment System; video startup plans to release a payment platform this summer that will allows users to make purchases with one click on a remote. (Boxee blog)

Sky Loses ITV Appeal; UK satellite firm has lost an appeal against having to sell its stake in the commercial broadcaster ITV, and as such will have to reduce it to below 7.5 percent from a current 17.9 percent. (Broadband TV News)

Discovery CEO Zaslav Makes $34 Million Profit on Options; Zaslav reaped a $34 million payday as a result of a stock appreciation rights plan that kicked in earlier this month, according to an SEC filing. (paidContent)

The Cord-cutting Threat May Be Larger Than You Think; operators continue to see little evidence in support of cord-cutting, but the industry is being impacted incrementally by a number of forces, all of which collectivity point to a “perfect storm” in support of the phenomenon. (The Diffusion Group)

Josh Silverman: How Video Changes Everything; Skype CEO argues that video is not only an entirely different way of communicating, but a really important one. (GigaOM)

Bharti Airtel Partners With Limelight Networks for CDN services; the deal enables Limelight to expand its access in India, while letting Bharti resell global CDN services to its customers. (press release)

Kaltura Releases Open-source Video Extension for Moodle; white-label video platform company releases an extension for Moodle, a popular open-source learning management system for remote learning programs. (emailed release)

Limelight Agrees to Buy Up EyeWonder for $110M

Limelight Networks (s LLNW), in a bid to get into the fast-growing online ad-serving business, has agreed to purchase EyeWonder for $110 million in cash and stock. The company expects the deal, which it hopes will close in the first half of 2010, to add some $40 million in annual revenues and to substantially boost Limelight’s gross margins as it attempts to move away from a high-capital, low-margin commodity CDN business.

Of the $110 million that Limelight has agreed to pay for EyeWonder, $62 million will be in cash, plus 12.74 million shares of Limelight stock worth some $48 million. An additional 4.86 million shares could be issued in 2011 if EyeWonder achieves certain financial results in 2010. On an investor call announcing the deal, Limelight CEO Jeff Lunsford said the acquisition is expected to be accretive on a pro forma basis by the end of 2010.

EyeWonder will provide a fast-growing and high-margin revenue stream to complement Limelight’s existing CDN business. According to Lunsford, the ad-serving company is expected to have sales of $32-$35 million in 2009, with gross margins in excess of 70 percent. That revenue grew 40 percent on capex of less than $1 million over the past year, according to Lunsford, and Limelight expects EyeWonder’s sales to rise an additional 30 percent in 2010.

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Court Says Limelight Doesn’t Infringe Patent, Akamai Disagrees

[qi:105] In what has to be a much-needed shot in the arm for content delivery services provider Limelight Networks (s LLNW), the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts says Limelight does not infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703 in Akamai Technologies (s AKAM) vs. Limelight Networks. Not surprisingly, Akamai says it will appeal the decision. Akamai had filed a lawsuit against Limelight in July 2006, and the two companies have been duking it out in the courts. Akamai won the lawsuit, but Limelight appealed in February 2008. Limelight expects this ruling to allow it to reverse expenses of approximately $66 million accrued for potential damages and interest.

Palm announces sales results Q3- cash position needs strengthening

palm-prePalm (s palm) addressed their Q3 sales results today and it looks like they can’t get the Pre released fast enough.  Their falling financial position has led many to believe that the Palm Pre is a make or break proposition for the smartphone maker and these numbers would bolster that argument.

Wall Street was expecting quarterly sales of $155 million but Palm said today sales will only be $85 to $90 million due to later-than-expected deliveries of the Treo Pro.  Palm will be announcing full financials later this week and it’s likely their loss will be greater than Wall Street expected.  It is beginning to sound more and more that Palm is “all in” with the Pre.

CEO Ed Colligan had at least some good news to share today:

“The much-anticipated launch of the Palm(R) Pre(TM) remains on track for the first half of calendar year 2009, but as expected we’ve got a difficult transition period to work through,” said Palm President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Colligan. “Despite the challenging market environment, the extraordinary response to the Palm Pre and the new Palm webOS(TM) reaffirms our confidence in our long-term prospects and our ability to reestablish Palm as the leading innovator in the growing smartphone market.”

Let’s hope Palm can get that Pre out the door soonest and that it is the savior the company desperately needs.

(via ZDNet)