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Profile: Peter Boylan

Apr 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: Co-president, co-chief operating officer and member of the Office of the CEO at Gemstar-TV Guide International.
Mr. Boylan has overseen all cable industry business for Gemstar-TV Guide since July. Before assuming his current position, he was responsible for TV Guide’s financial, legal and corporate development in addition to serving as chairman and CEO of numerous subsidiaries, including TV Guide Interactive.
Gemstar-TV Guide has provided fully interactive program guides for digital television since 1996 as well as its scrolled version for analog TV. Two weeks ago, the company announced a deal with Nielsen Media Research to use proprietary data captured by the program guides to develop state-of-the-art research information products. Asked about privacy in light of the recent Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of TiVo for alleged privacy violations, Mr. Boylan noted, “We think privacy is paramount-we certainly plan to be sensitive to that.” He declined to say what strategies his company and Nielsen would use to guarantee this sensitivity.
Mr. Boylan is excited about prospects for new services, programming and t-commerce capabilities that would be available once Motorola’s much-anticipated advanced set-top box, the DCT-5000, is widely deployed, though he would not comment on the timetable for the deployment. Gemstar-TV Guide is in litigation against Scientific-Atlanta, which manufactures the rival Explorer 6000 and 8000 advanced set-top boxes, and set-top box providers Pace and Pioneer.
Patent lawsuits: “We’re proceeding on the normal course of litigation, which is proceeding slower than we’d like it to be. The good news is that the damage is growing deeper every day. In patent law, if a person is shown to willfully violate your patents, you’re entitled to triple damages.”
DCT5000 vs. DCT2000: “The process is dramatically more powerful-there’s more storage and graphics capabilities. There is the ability to scale video and picture in the guide so that you can search without leaving the (televised) program. Translucency allows you to see video with the overlay of the guide.
“Additional memory makes listings deeper and more robust. To the extent that a plant is two-way-enabled, you can also get t-commerce, streaming video and full-motion video for interactive advertising. Our interactive programming guide business will have a significant t-commerce capability.”