Rovi Buys DigiForge: Sources

Digital entertainment-technology
vendor Rovi has acquired television
engineering-services firm DigiForge,
as it looks to improve its standing
among cable operators that have deployed
its interactive program guides,
according to industry sources familiar
with the deal.

DigiForge, based in Wheat Ridge,
Colo., had previously won a contract
from Rovi to support cable operators using
the i-Guide IPG. Rovi was looking to
bulk up its services capabilities in the cable
space, particularly after it exited the
GuideWorks joint venture with Comcast
in March 2010, the sources said.


Rovi’s acquisition of DigiForge was completed
in the last few weeks, according to
sources. DigiForge, which had about 40 to 50 employees,
also has done work for clients including Comcast, Time
Warner Cable, CableLabs and TiVo.

A Rovi spokeswoman declined to comment. DigiForge
president and CEO Ed Knudson did not respond to a request
for comment.

DigiForge describes itself on its website as “a leading
provider of design, development, integration, test and
deployment services to the digital television industry …
DigiForge’s team of architects, engineers, QA professionals
and project managers have designed, built and integrated
some of the most complex digital-television applications
and systems on some of the most widely deployed platforms
in the world.”

Knudson previously worked for TV Guide Inc. as vice
president and general manager of TV Guide Interactive,
where he led the design, development and launch of the
first interactive program guide for digital-cable TV, according
to his bio on DigiForge’s site. He also worked at
broadband satellite-service provider WildBlue Communications
and spent three years at OpenTV, leading the company’s
advanced advertising business unit.

Rovi had been talking to several small service companies
about an acquisition in the past two years, according
to the sources.


Previously called Macrovision Solutions, Rovi has made a
series of acquisitions aimed at expanding its reach into the
video and entertainment-services space — the biggest being
its $2.8 billion deal for Gemstar-TV Guide International,
the supplier of IPGs and data.

More recently, Rovi bought digital-video playback and
distribution company Sonic Solutions for $720 million in
December 2010. Rovi previously had acquired All Media
Guide Holdings, a provider of information databases and
metadata for entertainment products including music and
movies, and Muze, a provider of entertainment-information
products and discovery services.