DVD protector Macrovision changes name and purpose

July 16, 2009 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Macrovision Solutions Corp., once a maker of copy-protection technology for DVDs, officially changed its name Thursday to Rovi Corp. to mark its transition into a provider of TV listings data and related services.

The change for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company began in April 2008 when it purchased Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. for about $2.3 billion in cash and stock.

It later sold TV Guide magazine and the TV Guide cable channel, but kept the listing service, which it licenses to cable and satellite TV providers in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Japan.

The stock has been on a tear recently as Wall Street came to grips with the company's new strategy. Since the beginning of the year, shares are up 87 percent.

They rose 74 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $24.42 by midday Thursday.

The company wisely moved away from the declining market for its analog copy protection technology, which became outdated as people increasingly began buying digital TVs, said analyst Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest.

"They either had the option of bleeding it for cash before it died, or use the cash and invest in a business opportunity that had growth," said Hargreaves. "There's little doubt there's an opportunity to establish a better consumer experience in the guide world."

The company also announced Thursday it was launching a new guide that will allow access from TV sets to Internet services such as Slacker radio and YouTube videos. Rovi is also working with Blockbuster Inc. to provide on-demand videos.

The guide is to be embedded in some TVs starting next year, said Chief Executive Fred Amoroso.

As for "Rovi," the name connotes "motion, finding things, moving around," Amoroso said. "It's a verb. You can Google something. You can Rovi something."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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