European telco Altice Group has been named as one of the backers of self-styled ‘next generation cable provider’ Layer3TV. According to trade paper Variety, the start-up – which embarked on beta testing in Texas in late-2015 under the ‘Umio’ brand – is poised to extend its services to Chicago in the coming weeks. Going forward, Layer3TV is hiring cable personnel in Washington DC, Boston, Denver and Houston, effectively signposting its expansion plans.
Altice Group which recently completed the dual acquisition of New York-based Cablevision and Missouri-based Suddenlink has established a new unit, Altice USA, to manage its US businesses. The extent of its involvement with Layer3TV remains unclear, although Suddenlink provided operational assistance in Texas, and even set up a new subsidiary, SL3TV LLC, to facilitate the beta testing.
Variety adds that famed hedge fund investor John Paulson is another of the new company’s high profile backers, alongside North Bridge and Evolution Media Partners. The company has reportedly raised USD100 million in equity and debt financing to date.