JumpTV merging with New York online sports provider NeuLion

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TORONTO - Internet broadcaster JumpTV Inc. (TSX:JTV) is merging with NeuLion Inc., a New York-based provider of web services to sports customers including the National Hockey League and the International Fight League.

JumpTV said Monday it will issue 49.5 common shares, 1.8 million contingent shares and five million share-purchase warrants to the owners of privately held NeuLion.

The equity issue "represents approximately the entire issued and outstanding shares of JumpTV."

The combined company will be "a leading enterprise IPTV provider of online sports, international and religious programming."

NeuLion, founded in 2004, tallied 2007 revenue of US$7.8 million, with a net loss of US$4 million.

"The parties anticipate significant operational and human resource synergies and expect an aggregate headcount reduction of approximately 60 people by Dec. 31," a joint statement said.

The transaction is expected to close this fall, subject to shareholder approval, and the merged company is to remain listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. JumpTV is interlisted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, and has been suspended there until the deal is completed.

"This merger enables us to provide our partners with a complete solution for streaming content live online across multiple devices and viewing platforms," stated JumpTV executive chairman Scott Paterson.