Gemstar-TV Guide International

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Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. was a media company that licensed interactive program guide technology to multichannel operators, such as cable and satellite television providers, and consumer electronics manufacturers, video recorder scheduling code under brands such as VCR Plus, published TV Guide magazine, distributed TV Guide Network and TVG Network, operated, and provided various related services. As of May 2, 2008, Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Macrovision Solutions Corporation which later changed its name to Rovi Corporation on July 16, 2009.


It was formed when Gemstar, (founded by Henry Yuen, Daniel Kwoh, Louise Wannier and Wilson Cho), merged with TV Guide, Inc. (formerly United Video Satellite Group), in July, 2000.[1] In 2002, Gemstar disclosed that $108 million in booked revenue had not been collected. The genesis of the uncollected revenue stemmed from expired licensing agreements, mainly with Scientific Atlanta, a cable box manufacturer. Gemstar, Yuen and Elsie Leung, the Gemstar CFO, had been booking the revenue for over a year, as they believed GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) allowed them to do as Scientific Atlanta was continuing to add the Interactive Program Guide (IPG) software to its cable boxes and the companies were simultaneously in on-going litigation and negotiations to resolve their disputes. As Scientific Atlanta had always paid in the past, Gemstar, Yuen and Leung had reasonable evidence that the uncollected revenue would eventually be collected. When the amount accrued to a much larger sum of over $100 million, the company disclosed the information in a quarterly conference call with media and investors. During this time period, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp obtained the Gemstar shares owned by John Malone's Liberty Media Group, giving him control of the company. Yuen was replaced as CEO in October 2002 with Jeff Shell, a Murdoch right hand man who had been running the Fox Cable Networks Group.[2] Its market capitalization fell, along with hundreds of other high tech stocks, from a high of $20 billion in 2000 to a low of little more than $1 billion in 2005; its stock later recovered somewhat.

In early 2007 Aptiv Digital was acquired by Gemstar. Aptiv was the developer of the Passport interactive program guide software used on Scientific Atlanta and Motorola set top boxes.[3]

On July 9, 2007, Gemstar Chairman Anthea Disney announced that the Board of Directors has "authorized the Company and its advisors to explore strategic alternatives intended to maximize shareholder value, which may include a sale of the Company." [4] This move was seen by many analysts as an attempt on the part of News Corp's Rupert Murdoch, a 41% shareholder in Gemstar, to raise cash for its attempt to buy The Wall Street Journal parent company Dow Jones.

On December 7, 2007, Gemstar signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Macrovision (now Rovi Corporation) in a cash and stock deal, which based on the closing price for the Macrovision stock on December 6, 2007, was valued at approximately $2.8 billion.[5] The deal closed on May 2, 2008.[6]

On November 27, 2009, Virgin Media succeeded in a patent dispute brought against it by Gemstar TV Guide. The London High Court found that Virgin Media had infringed on patents EP 0969662, EP 1377049 and EP 1613066 but also found them to be invalid and moved to revoke them. The ruling called into question the ability for Rovi to enforce its patents both in the UK and with operators around the world.[7] Rovi Corporation appealed against the decision for two of the three patents and continued to pursue Virgin Media for infringement of intellectual property.[8] However on 29 March 2011, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales upheld the original decision.[9]

Rovi Corporation continues to execute and license its patents including patents from Gemstar TV Guide to companies in the UK and around the world as shown in a 2010 deal with Sky.[10]


  1. ^ Jane Spencer and Kara Scannell "As Fraud Case Unravels, Executive Is At Large" Wall Street Journal Online, April 25, 2007 (subscription required to view full article)
  2. ^ This Isn't the Show Henry Yuen Expected [1] "BusinessWeek Online, June 20, 2003"
  3. ^ Aptiv Digital acquired by Gemstar-TV Guide
  4. ^ Gemstar-TV Guide International "Gemstar-TV Guide International Announces Review of Strategic Alternatives"
  5. ^ "Macrovision Agrees to Acquire Gemstar-TV Guide"
  6. ^ "Macrovision Closes Acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide"
  7. ^ "Virgin Media wins Gemstar EPG ruling". Broadband TV News. 2009-11-27. 
  8. ^ "Ruling on Litigation with Virgin Media". Rovi Corporation. 2009-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Virgin Media Wins United Kingdom Appeal Affirming Gemstar Patent Ruling". Bloomberg. 2011-03-29. 
  10. ^ [2]"Rovi Signs Sky to an Extended IPG Patent License Agreement"

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