NDS Enjoys Healthy Q1

Indian Cellular Operator Bharti Airtel, Chinese Cable Operator Tianjin Broadcast & TV Network Reach Deals with Vendor

Conditional-access and interactive-TV-software firm NDS Group saw gains in both revenues and operating income for the first quarter of its fiscal-year 2007 compared with last year, and the company announced new sales of its conditional-access technology to Indian cellular operator Bharti Airtel and Chinese cable operator Tianjin Broadcast & TV Network.

First-quarter revenues for NDS, a majority-owned subsidiary of News Corp., jumped 25% compared with the same period in 2006, from $164.2 million to $204.9 million. Operating income also surged, increasing 31% to $58.3 million from $44.6 million.

NDS now has some 78.6 million active digital-TV smart cards and 69.9 million cumulative middleware clients deployed. Its digital-video-recorder software is also used in some 8.8 million digital set-tops.

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest cellular operator, will use NDS’ VideoGuard conditional access, MediaHighway middleware and a customized electronic programming guide for its new direct-to-home satellite platform, while Tianjin Broadcast & TV will use VideoGuard to protect its new digital-cable service.

Other significant Q1 deals for NDS included a sale of VideoGuard and MediaHighway to Vision TV, Ukraine’s first licensed DTH satellite pay TV provider; and an agreement to provide Serbia Broadband, the largest cable operator in Serbia, with an end-to-end system to secure and enable its national cable-television platform.

“Our business has seen continued strong performance across the board as our deliveries of new technology grew strongly and our deployments in developing markets continued to gather momentum,” NDS CEO Abe Peled said in a statement.


NDS Agrees to Go Private

News Corp., two subsidiaries of funds advised by private-equity player Permira Advisers reach agreement to take conditional-access, interactive-TV-software provider private.