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Liberty Global likely to move to common UI ‘at some point’

Liberty Global intends “at some point to have [its] entire European digital footprint operating on a common platform and perhaps a common UI”, according to president and CEO Mike Fries.

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries

Liberty Global CEO, Mike Fries

Speaking to analysts after Liberty announced its Q3 results, Fries said that the company was “heading towards a common video platform everywhere in Europe, which has massive benefits from the point of view of product innovation, time-to-market, procurement benefits and costs”, despite its recent renewal of a deal with TiVo, which provides the software behind Virgin Media’s TV platform in the UK. For the rest of Europe, Cisco is deploying the RDK-powered Horizon platform.

Also speaking on the analyst call, outgoing Liberty Global CTO Balan Nair, who is to take over as CEO of Liberty’s soon-to-be-spun-off Latin American operation, said that Liberty had “restructured” how it paid for TiVo to maintain its software on existing boxes in the UK and had also extended its existing intellectual property licensing deal with Rovi to cover TiVo IP across Europe and Latin America. He said the deal was a “good win-win” for both Liberty and TiVo.

Virgin Media became the first Liberty Global unit to launch the group’s new unified set-top platform the EOS box, last year. The box is named the V6 in the UK. Unlike other Liberty Global companies, which use Horizon, Virgin is providing an updated version of its existing TiVo interface on the box.

Speaking on the analyst call, Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge said that the company was “well placed with the product we have at the moment”. He said Virgin was benefiting from synergies from using the EOS box and said it would continue with its “customer-focused strategy” and “make decisions going forward as we see necessary”.