Post Its Acquisition of OpenTV, Kudelski Says It Has Been Ramping Up Its Investment in Middleware

--Wins for OpenTV with HOT and Numericable

In a press release in which it announced its financial results for the first half of 2010, the Kudelski Group, the company which last fall acquired full control of pioneering interactive TV middleware provider, OpenTV (see the article published on itvt.com, November 16th), revealed that it has, since then, been investing heavily in its middleware operations: "Personnel expenses rose by CHF [i.e. Swiss Francs] 20.5 million from the first half 2009, representing an 11.1% increase to reach CHF 205.7 million," the company stated. "In this first half, the Group significantly strengthened its middleware operations, through a reassignment of former Digital TV resources and a targeted hiring effort at OpenTV, resulting in the addition of over 100 Full Time Equivalents to the middleware headcount...R&D investments aimed at accelerating the deployment of the Group's next-generation middleware solutions affected the results of the Middleware and Advertising segment. The ramp-up of such R&D investments is ahead of plan, resulting in a cost base higher than originally planned, but also in a faster than originally planned availability of an upgraded product portfolio. In addition to a strong sales pipeline, these measures allowed for the effective protection of our middleware and advertising revenue base, increasing by 6% in constant currency compared to the first half of last year."

Kudelski also revealed that OpenTV (in partnership with Kudelski's Nagravision arm) has extended its relationships with Israeli cable operator, HOT, and French cable operator, Numericable: "In Israel, Nagravision extended its partnership with HOT to include an advanced cross-platform solution designed to provide a compelling user experience powered by OpenTV middleware and offering advanced security capabilities through the NAGRA Media PRM," Kudelski stated. "This new agreement will allow HOT to provide secure and high-quality programming to its subscribers while enriching its offering of advanced services. These services will include an advanced HD experience based on OpenTV Core nX, and allow for a single user interface across multiple devices. HOT's new offering will also provide advanced PVR functionality, home networking and video streaming, content discovery through search, recommendation and social networking, as well as disk security and set-top box refurbishment capabilities. A total of 1.3 million households in Israel subscribe to HOT’s multiplatform services." Meanwhile, Numericable, which serves over three million subscribers, will, Kudelski says, "integrate the latest release of OpenTV middleware onto its platform. Numericable which already benefits from a comprehensive Nagravision end-to-end solution has further selected Nagravision for the cable operator's roll-out of widget applications [see the article published on itvt.com, September 9th]," Kudelski continues. "Further, both parties have agreed to partner on a joint 3DTV program to be launched in Q4."

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Europe