Search

Apple licenses a TV program guide

Deal with Rovi could bolster its set-top box or serve as a precursor to an all-in-one TV.



In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Rovi Corp. (rovi) announced Monday that it had signed a multiyear deal giving Apple (aapl) access to undisclosed portions of its TV-related intellectual properties.

Rovi, formerly known as Macrovision, purchased TV Guide for its VCR Plus and electronic program guide in 2008 and sold the money-losing magazine six months later. Today it holds a rich portfolio of TV-related patents that cover, among other things, the program guide and various digital content protection technologies.

In a note to clients, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster interpreted the announcement as "further evidence" that Apple is using its set-top box business to soften up the market for an all-in-one Apple-branded TV set that it will introduce within the next two to four years.

Meanwhile, Munster estimates that the revamped $99 Apple TV unveiled earlier this month will more than triple set-top sales for the company, from about 400,000 units per year to more than 1.5 million in 2011.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions