Liberate Technologies narrowed its losses for its third fiscal quarter and
lifted its outlook for the coming quarters, predicting that it will go into the
black in the second half of this year.
The interactive-TV-platform provider expects interactive-TV deployments to
accelerate through 2003, with the majority of North American cable customers
opting for its more simplified platform.
The San Carlos, Calif.-based company posted pro forma revenues of $24.6
million for the quarter, up 65 percent from the $14.9 million posted in the
fourth quarter of 2001.
Its pro forma net loss was $5 million for the quarter ending Feb. 28 compared
with an $8.9 million loss in the same quarter of 2001. The company's pro forma
basic net loss was 5 cents per share, beating First Call estimates of 7
Liberate has approximately 2.8 million deployments worldwide so far, and it
expects to add another 500,000 to 1 million subscribers by the end of this
To goose along the North American interactive-TV market and assure a more
predictable licensing revenue stream, Liberate has renegotiated key contracts
with cable operators, offering them discounts if they roll out interactive
services sooner rather than later.
'Some of the MSOs will be able to get a benefit for the lower pricing tiers
for their earlier deployment,' CEO Mitchell Kertzman said. 'As we exit this
quarter, we have a much higher level of confidence that North American MSOs are
on track for deployment.'
Liberate has already deployed with Insight Communications Co. Inc. in the
Midwest, and the company is in discussions with all of the major MSOs. Kertzman
wouldn't name specific MSOs, but he said, 'I would say we are at some level of
activity in terms of discussion with everyone in North America.'
The recent announcement that Charter Communications Inc. would delay
deploying rival Microsoft Corp.'s interactive-TV platform in its systems might
appear to be in Liberate's favor, 'but I wouldn't want to set expectations that
this is going to turn into something new with Charter,' Kertzman added.
Liberate also announced the first set of partners qualified for its 'POP TV'
premium developer's program, which was announced in January.
The first crop of premium partners includes Buzztime Entertainment Inc.,
Caiman Technologies Ltd., Cylo, ExtendMedia Inc., GIST Communications Inc.,
Massive, MetaTV Inc., Mindhouse, NDS Group plc, Picotent, Pixelpark AG, Two Way
TV Ltd., Victoria Real, Visionik Interactive TV and Visiware.