Macrovision Plans To Change Name To 'Rovi'

Macrovision Solutions, one of the biggest suppliers of interactive program guides to cable operators, announced Tuesday that it plans to formally change its name to "Rovi Corporation."

The company, which also sells embedded content-security technology, said it will continue to operate under the Macrovision name until its July 15 annual stockholders' meeting, when the change will be considered for approval.

The company said the Rovi brand is part of its "new brand identity that includes a new corporate visual design," but did not immediately release a new logo. A Macrovision spokeswoman said images of the logo won't be available until later this summer.

"As Rovi, we will unite our technology and people under one shared identity that speaks to who we have become and how we will drive our strategy moving forward as a technology leader that powers the discovery and enjoyment of digital entertainment," Macrovision president and CEO Fred Amoroso said in a statement.

In announcing the plans to change the name, Amoroso said Macrovision has undertaken "a series of strategic acquisitions, divestitures and continued innovation of our product portfolio, and as a result, the company is dramatically different than it was just a year ago."

Macrovision completed its $2.8 billion acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International, which develops IPGs used by Comcast and other cable providers and consumer-electronics manufacturers, in May 2008.

Subsequently, Macrovision sold TV Guide magazine to private equity group OpenGate Capital for one dollar and also agreed to loan OpenGate $9.5 million to operate the magazine.

The company sold the TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online properties to Lionsgate in a $255 million deal this year,  after Macrovision broke off a plan to sell those assets to television producer Allen Shapiro and One Equity Partners. Macrovision also sold TV Games Network to Betfair Group Ltd., an e-gaming services firm, for $50 million in cash.

In addition, Macrovision in December 2007 bought All Media Guide Holdings, a provider of information databases and metadata for entertainment products including music and movies, and last month acquired the assets of Muze Inc., a provider of entertainment information products and discovery services.

In a proxy statement filed May 18, Macrovision said, "Our management and our board of directors believe that the corporate name change will better reflect our unified corporate identity."

"Macrovision's strategy is to power the discovery and enjoyment of digital entertainment... We believe the transformation of our business has been recognized by our customers, many of whom have encouraged us to change our name and branding to establish a new unified identity to the market," the company said. "In addition to not being associated with the new vision, based on our extensive consumer research, we believe that none of the brands currently owned by Macrovision carry a positive connotation in the market."

The Rovi name was picked based on Macrovision's consumer, customer and overall market research of "many alternatives."

"The name elicited positive connotations on a global basis and generally associated us with exploration and discovery (i.e., 'roving'), both of which are broad, forward-looking concepts that are desired by our target markets," the company said in its May 18 proxy statement. "Based on the feedback conducted as part of our research, we believe the marketplace will positively receive the new name and associated branding."

If the stockholders approve the change of the company name, the company's trading symbol on the Nasdaq Global Select Market would also change to "ROVI."

The domain name, however, is already taken: The URL belongs to Laboratorios Farmacéuticos ROVI, a chemical and pharmaceutical company incorporated in Madrid in 1946.