Rovi Rises on Charter Deal

Inks Multi-Year License Renewal With Operator
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Shares in electronic program guide and metadata specialist Rovi Corp. popped more than 8% Monday after announcing that it had struck a multiyear license renewal with Charter Communications, an MSO that’s poised to be the second largest in the U.S., should a series of pending transactions, including the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, go through.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Rovi said the renewal extends Charter’s IPG patent license, and provides the MSO with the ability to license other tech and services, including Rovi’s search, metadata, recommendations, analytics systems, and “Conversation Services” that are playing a role in new voice-based navigation systems.

The deal is also coming together as Charter prepares to broaden the deployment of Spectrum Guide, a new cloud-based interface that will run on older QAM-locked boxes as well as IP-capable devices, such as the MSO’s new “Worldbox.”  Charter also hopes to extend that strategy to systems that it would come way of its proposed acquisition of Bright House Networks.

“Our license renewal with Charter reinforces the value of Rovi’s patent and product portfolio in Pay-TV homes across the nation. Rovi is pleased to have reached this significant license agreement with Charter and we look forward to continuing to work together as our respective businesses evolve,” Rovi CEO Tom Carson said, in a statement.

Elsewhere, Rovi is locked in a patent battle with Netflix, but said recently that no matter the outcome of that case, that Rovi “remains well-positioned to renew our big-four license agreements,” a reference to discussions with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network.

Rovi shares closed up $1.52 (8.64%), to $19.11 each on Monday.

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