Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced that they have entered into a broader strategic relationship that includes an agreement for a multi-year set-top commitment valued at more than US $1 billion, the largest set-top purchase agreement in the operator's history. Also today, Comcast and Motorola announced an agreement to form two joint ventures focused on next-generation conditional access technologies. The set-top commitment will extend Comcast and Motorola's multi-year agreement for Comcast to purchase set-tops and network equipment. Motorola will provide high-definition digital video recorders and standard-definition entry-level models, among others.
The joint ventures will focus on the development and licensing of current and future conditional access (CA) and other cable technologies. Conditional access technologies enable cable providers to ensure that customers receive only the video services to which they subscribe. As part of the transaction, Motorola has granted the ventures a non-exclusive license for MediaCipher, its leading conditional access technology.
The first joint venture will focus primarily on development of a next-generation conditional access system, using MediaCipher as its foundation. Comcast and Motorola will jointly manage the development group. The second joint venture will focus on licensing conditional access and other cable technologies, including MediaCipher, to United States cable operators and third-party providers. The licensing venture will be managed by Comcast.
"This partnership with an industry leader like Motorola will help us to continue to aggressively advance our interactive digital platform and more rapidly develop and deploy video products," said Steve Burke, Chief Operating Officer of Comcast. "This is part of Comcast's continued focus on the development of industry-wide specifications for key components of set-top boxes -- including conditional access systems, interactive program guides and middleware -- that will help add consumer value and reinforce cable's position as the provider of choice for home entertainment and information."
"By extending our relationship with Comcast for conditional access and set-tops, we continue to drive innovation for advanced digital cable services," said Dan Moloney, president, Connected Home Solutions business, and executive vice president, Motorola, Inc. "Further, with these announcements today, Motorola has established itself as a key technology partner to Comcast and we look forward to exploring together a broad array of future services, leveraging our strength in voice, video, and data." The joint venture agreements, which are subject to customary closing conditions, are expected to be completed during the late first or early second quarter of 2005.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( http://www.comcast.com ) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers and 7 million high-speed Internet customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, International Channel Networks, TV One and four Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Motorola is a Fortune 100 global communications leader that provides seamless mobility products and solutions across broadband, embedded systems and wireless networks. In your home, auto, workplace and all spaces in between, seamless mobility means you can reach the people, things and information you need, anywhere, anytime. Seamless mobility harnesses the power of technology convergence and enables smarter, faster, cost-effective and flexible communication. Motorola had sales of US $31.3 billion in 2004. For more information: http://www.motorola.com/.
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