Pace Micro Technology plc (London: pic.l), the world's largest dedicated developer of digital set-top box technology, and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, today announced the companies have reached a multi-year set-top box purchase agreement. In addition, Comcast has agreed to license Pace's EngineWare™ software platform and related set-top box technology and to work with Pace on the joint development of next-generation set-top boxes and related technologies.
The total price expected to be paid for the set-top boxes over a three-year period is between approximately $375 million and $550 million based on the type of Pace boxes that Comcast may order. Under the new agreement, which supercedes an earlier set-top box purchase agreement between the companies, Comcast will purchase a variety of Pace's set-top boxes, including the recently announced Tahoe HD DVR set-top box. The purchases are subject to Comcast's acceptance of the boxes and other conditions contained in the agreement.
Comcast also will have the right to sublicense Pace's EngineWare software and specified set-top box designs in the North American cable market. In addition, Comcast and Pace will jointly fund non-exclusive development of next-generation cable set-top boxes and related technologies to be carried out by Pace's engineering team.
"This agreement with Pace supports our ongoing aggressive development and delivery of new digital cable products to our customers," said Mark Hess, Senior Vice President Business and Product Development - Digital TV for Comcast. "We are impressed with the technical expertise and experience of the Pace team and look forward to working with them to jointly develop the next generation of set-top boxes for the future of the cable industry."
"We are extremely enthusiastic that Comcast has agreed to purchase Pace set-top boxes, and license our platform-agnostic EngineWare software for easy application integration on set-top boxes," said Pace Micro Technology Americas' President Mike Pulli. "We are equally pleased to be considered a key technology partner to the nation's leading cable operator and look forward to working with Comcast to jointly develop next-generation set-top boxes and other technologies."
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, 7.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice 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, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional 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. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
EngineWareTM is made up of software modules that perform the core set-top box processing functions. Its architecture is unique as it enables core set-top box functions and associated applications to be ported onto the widest possible range of set-top box hardware platforms, from basic standard definition to the most advanced high definition DVR and home gateway products. EngineWareTM is configured to support applications currently deployed within today's cable systems as well as future applications such as OCAP. This flexibility is the cornerstone feature of EngineWareTM.
About Pace Micro Technology
Pace Micro Technology plc (LSE: PIC) is a leading digital set-top box provider specializing in the development of emerging technologies across all television platforms. Headquartered in the United Kingdom with additional offices in France and Hong Kong, Pace's North and South American office is in Boca Raton, Fla. Please visit Pace's web site at www.pacemicro.com.