Grass Valley (company)
|Industry||ICT - Broadcast and Media segment|
|Founded||April 7, 1959|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Key people||Tim Thorsteinson (President & CEO), Said Bacho (SVP, President Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region), Rafael Castillo (SVP, Latin America and Caribbean Region), Gale England (SVP, Global Operations & Quality), Andy Jackson (SVP, North America Region), Marcel Koutstaal (SVP & GM, Imaging Product Group), Karen Niparko (SVP, Human Resources), Bruno Pillet (SVP, Global Services), Karl Schubert (SVP & CTO), Stephen Wong (SVP, President Asia Pacific Region), Steven Vattuone (CFO)|
|Products||Cameras, Production Switchers, Routing Switchers, Media Servers, Media Storage, Editing Systems, Digital Workflow, Replay, Integrated Playout)|
|Revenue||Around half a billion dollars, 75% outside of the USA|
|Employees||1440, 60% outside of the USA|
Grass Valley is an American privately held company based in San Francisco, and originally founded in Grass Valley, California. It develops and produces technology and services for the video and broadcast industry, with a broad offering of "glass to glass" solutions for live video production, news and playout.
Grass Valley's video files architecture is called Stratus, an opened SOA software suite that manages video contents from glass (camera) to glass (television or IP connected device). It operates with direct sales and services operations around the world, and spends more than 15% of its revenue in R&D (half of its employers are development and service engineers).
Grass Valley was founded as a tiny research and development company in 1959 by Dr. Donald Hare in the small town of Grass Valley, California, in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada range. Hare chose Grass Valley after learning about it from his friend, Charles Litton, Sr. In 1964, Grass Valley demonstrated its first video product, a Video Distribution Amplifier in a hotel room at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. By 1968, the Grass Valley Group had introduced its first vision mixer, the flagship product that helped build the company's reputation. The company merged with Tektronix in 1974, and was very successful for the next fifteen years. Then Tektronix sold its video business to a private investor, Terry Gooding of San Diego, California, who reincorporated it under the name Grass Valley Group, Inc. The sale closed on September 24, 1999.
In 2002, the French electronics giant Thomson Multimedia, now known as Technicolor SA, acquired Grass Valley Group. After coming under the ownership of Thomson, Grass Valley Group was forced to merge its product line with the existing professional and broadcast products of its new parent company, with mixed results.
After the financial crisis of 2008, Thomson became upside-down in its financial covenants and was forced by its creditors to divest itself of Grass Valley and other manufacturing entities. On January 29, 2009, Thomson announced that they were putting the Grass Valley division up for sale.
In 2010, the Grass Valley business unit, not including the head-end and transmission businesses, was acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners and resumed operating as an independent company on January 1, 2011.
The company offers six families of products: cameras, production switchers, routing switchers, media servers and storage (including replay), editing systems, and integrated playout. The company primarily serves three market segments: live production (live studio and outside broadcast production), news (news production), and playout (content management, playout, and publishing).
Grass Valley has sales, services and engineering centres throughout the world, grouped in four regions, and led by a regional SVP: North America (Andy Jackson), LATAM (Rafael Castillo) EMEA (Said Bacho) and APAC (Stephen Wong)
Americas: San Francisco (HQ), Portland, Nevada City, Miami, São Paulo, Burbank, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Salt Lake City.
EMEA: London (HQ), Breda/Apeldoorn, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Brussells, Stockholm, Dubai, Moscow, Istambul.
APAC: Singapore (HQ), Tokyo, Kobe, Kuala Lumpur, Bejing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Delhi, Sydney, Melbourne.
Competitors also in the half a billion scale are Sony, Avid, Harris; together with Grass Valley representing around 40% of the supply side of the market. A myriad of smaller niche vendors also compete as the market, which remains very fragmented awaiting a logical wave of consolidations as the industry fast transforms itself from aerial broadcast to video over IP.
- by James E. O'Neal (November 15, 2006). "Grass Valley: From the Movies to the Movies". tvtechnology.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- Thomson History Timeline: 1990-2003, Retrieved on 2009-08-23
- "Thomson to Sell Grass Valley". TV Technology. january 29, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "Francisco Partners Completes Acquisition of Grass Valley". tvtechnology.com. January 3, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- Grass Valley's Website
- Grass Valley on Facebook
- Grass Valley on Twitter
- Grass Valley on YouTube
- Grass Valley on LinkedIn
- K2 Developer's Guide
Further reading 
- 2002. "Share the News Three New Systems from Grass Valley Group Are Intended to Facilitate Work Flow". Broadcasting & Cable. 132: 35.
- 2001. "Equipment Purchase — French Manufacturer Thomson Multimedia Acquires Grass Valley Group". Broadcasting & Cable. 131: 12.