Liberty Media has acquired a controlling stake in set-top box (STB) software developer OpenTV. Liberty paid $185 million for around 43% of the company, which provides iTV software to around 50 cable, satellite and terrestrial operators, including BSkyB, TPS, QuieroTV, EchoStar’s DISH Network and DIRECTV Latin America.
Liberty will transfer control of OpenTV to Liberty Broadband Interactive Television Inc (LBIT), a newly formed majority owned subsidiary.
The move is expected to significantly change the STB software marketplace as it is the first time a company other than Microsoft has had a significant interest in both iTV software and the cable companies that deploy it.
Liberty has stakes in many cable operators outside of the US including Telewest and United Pan-Europe Communications. The OpenTV purchase could see these operators switch software providers from Liberate or Microsoft to OpenTV.