The DIRECTV Group, the European Space Agency (ESA) and RAI
(Radiotelevisione Italiana) Cooperate to Provide Not-to-Exceed Pricing
as Cornerstone of Comprehensive Patent License Offering
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 2006--The DIRECTV
Group, RAI and ESA, the holders of key DVB (Digital Video
Broadcasting)-S2 intellectual property rights, announced today the
fundamental terms of a comprehensive licensing offering under their
combined patent rights for DVB-S2 standardized technology.
The offering will set limits on cumulative royalties paid for the
licensing of intellectual property rights in order to speed adoption
of the DVB-S2 standard. DVB-S2 is the second generation DVB system for
broadband satellite communications, covering digital TV and HDTV
broadcasting, interactive services, and professional links by
The three rights holders will jointly offer a license under their
combined portfolios of intellectual property rights necessary for the
implementation of DVB-S2. For consumer applications, such as satellite
television set-top box receivers, a license under the combined
portfolios will not exceed $0.50 per product in quantities exceeding
500,000 over the term of the license and not to exceed $1.00 per
product in lower quantities. Licenses for consumer applications will
be granted for five-year terms. Renewals will be granted on fair and
reasonable terms based on then-current market conditions.
Free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters will not be required to pay a
separate service license fee to broadcast to licensed receivers. The
per product royalties and the arrangements for broadcasters are geared
to help launch DVB-S2 technology and follow the commitment of the
rights holders to offer licenses on fair, reasonable and
"We feel that it is important to confirm to the marketplace that
the cumulative royalties for the licensing of known essential IPRs
will indeed be fair and reasonable," said Dr. Alberto Morello,
Director of the RAI Research Centre.
"DIRECTV developed essential DVB-S2 coding technology to
significantly expand the capacity of its direct-to-home broadcast
business. By confirming that a license under the DIRECTV, RAI and ESA
patents will not exceed $0.50 per consumer product -- with no
additional service royalties or other service fees owed by free-to-air
and pay-TV broadcasters -- manufacturers and service providers will
now be able to set their business models to take advantage of this
important technology," added Romulo Pontual, Executive Vice President
and Chief Technology Officer of DIRECTV.
"We expect that these conditions will foster a rapid adoption of
this innovative standard by the global satellite broadcast and
telecommunication industry," concluded Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA Director
of Telecommunication and Navigation.
The licensing model under the combined portfolio for interactive
and professional applications such as pay-TV, data
broadcasting/internet access and satellite news gathering will be
announced shortly. DIRECTV, RAI and ESA, however, confirmed that the
cumulative royalties for the related equipment (e.g., modulators,
demodulators, etc.) are not expected to exceed 1-2% of the equipment
For broadcast applications (using QPSK and 8PSK modulations only)
the licensing program will be administered by DIRECTV (contact John T.
Whelan, email@example.com). For the other cases, including, for
example, professional/interactive applications and advanced
broadcasting using 16APSK and 32APSK, the program will be administered
by each entity (contacts: DIRECTV: John T. Whelan,
firstname.lastname@example.org; RAI: Alberto Morello, email@example.com; ESA: Luz
Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org). The rights holders are nearing completion
of work on a form of license agreement. Entities which believe they
hold patents essential to the DVB-S2 technology are encouraged to
contact Mr. Whelan at email@example.com.
About The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
DIRECTV Group (NYSE:DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital
television entertainment services. DIRECTV Group is approximately 39
percent owned by News Corporation. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo
are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., which is a wholly owned
subsidiary of DIRECTV Group and the nation's leading digital
television service provider, with more than 15.6 million customers.
RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) is the Italian public broadcaster
for radio and television over the air, via satellite and cable, or any
other means. It provides program production and network operation for
three national analog television channels broadcast in VHF/UHF bands.
These programs are re-broadcast in digital format by satellite and in
two terrestrial bouquets, including a growing number of thematic
channels in clear. It provides also production and network operation
for three radio channels, broadcast in MW and FM, and international
radio programs in SW.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization,
with 17 member states, set up to provide for and to promote, for
exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European states in
space research and technology and their space applications. ESA draws
up a European space plan and has the task of carrying it out. Its
activities span the fields of space science, Earth observation,
telecommunications, satellite navigation, human spaceflight,
microgravity research, exploration and space transportation systems.
ESA has its headquarters in Paris, France, with establishments in The
Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain; a launch base in Kourou, French
Guiana; and offices in Washington, Moscow and Brussels.
CONTACT: The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
Robert Mercer, 310-726-4683
SOURCE: The DIRECTV Group, Inc.