Putting interactive television squarely in its sites, Liberty Media Corp. has formed a new iTV division and has taken control of two leading companies in that sector.
Leading the new unit as president and CEO is former Gemstar-TV Guide International executive Peter Boylan. Based in Tulsa, Okla., Liberty Broadband is 90 percent-owned by Liberty Media.
Tied to the move, Liberty Media also executed a deal with MIH Ltd. to acquire a controlling interest (43 percent economic interest and 87 percent voting interest) in middleware and iTV application vendor OpenTV Corp. for an aggregate $185 million in cash and stock. Liberty also said it has a deal in place to snap up the 84 percent of ACTV Inc. it does not already own.
Thanks to cable and satellite deals, OpenTV's middleware is deployed in more than 24 million digital set-tops worldwide.