Macrovision Pays $43 Million for Mediabolic

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Looking to move into the market for digital distribution, copy protection and rights management heavyweight Macrovision has acquired media software developer Mediabolic for $43 million in cash. Mediabolic’s products drive the content navigation screens on PVRs, set-top boxes and other media hardware.

The transaction is a quiet ending for an independent Mediabolic, which had predicted profitability some time ago (and then hinted at it later). Even after winning a wallfull of awards for being a “hot” company, Mediabolic was cool on a lot of other specifics, such as how much venture funding it took to keep the doors open from 1999 through the bust. If the company is still profitable and had an “oversubscribed” venture round in 2004, is $43 million enough to make the investors happy?

Financial analysts, at least, are excited about Macrovision’s business chances based on their “buy” recommendations.

Macrovision has already made moves to distribute software and game content. Both Macrovision and Mediabolic are part of Intel’s efforts to use its funding arm to move into consumer electronics such as Viiv. Mediabolic counted Intel as a major investor.

Another Intel connection: Digital5, a company that was backed by Intel and was acquired by Mediabolic for an undisclosed amount of money in April 2006. At one time it was valued at over $60 million, but the dot-bust pushed the valuation lower and lower. At a $43 million exit for Mediabolic, it is pretty clear – the Digital5 backers couldn’t have made much money.

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