Joost up for sale, talks with Time Warner Cable -source
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online video service Joost is in talks to sell itself to cable operator Time Warner Cable Inc , a person with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
Joost approached Time Warner Cable, which is currently "kicking the tires" at Joost, according to the source who was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.
The person said the talks may not lead to a deal as the cable operator had not been in the market for an online video service.
Joost was launched in 2007 with much fanfare as the latest venture of Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. Before Skype, the Swedish entrepreneurs founded KaZaa, a file-sharing service popular with music and entertainment fans for sharing songs and video clips.
But the Joost site has not been successful in growing users in the U.S., despite content deals with various partners including Viacom and CBS Corp. Unlike Google Inc's YouTube or News Corp and NBC Universal's Hulu, Joost does not register in the Top 10 most popular video sites, according to data from comScore.
Joost could be a good fit for Time Warner Cable as part of its plans to extend its TV service online.
Former parent company Time Warner Inc and Comcast Corp , the largest U.S. cable operator, have both said they plan to start offering more cable TV shows online to paying cable subscribers later this year.
Comcast already has an in-house built video service called Fancast through which it can aggregate cable programming for its subscribers when it launches its Online On Demand service.
If Time Warner Cable does decide to buy Joost, it is not likely to pay a significant sum. The cable company is focused on using its cash to reduce the $9 billion plus debt it took on last year as part of its separation from Time Warner.
Joost appointed Mike Volpi, a former rising star within Cisco Systems Inc, as chief executive in 2007.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)