Cyberbiz Brief

OpenTV has inked a lucrative deal with Japan’s major cable TV operator that will enable it to develop interactive TV services for the region before rivals, including Liberate Technologies, Microsoft and Canal Plus Technologies.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but OpenTV, which provides interactive TV software and services, said it will work with Jupiter Telecommunication’s J-COM Broadband unit, a high-speed cable provider with more than 1 million digital subscribers, to develop on-demand news, weather, shopping and other services for rollout sometime next year.

The deal gives Mountain View, Calif.-based OpenTV entry into the Japanese TV market, where Jupiter is the largest multiple-system operator, with more than 21 cable systems nationwide. Japan’s overall TV market consists of about 55 million homes.

OpenTV’s software is inside more than 20 million digital set-top boxes worldwide. It was the first interactive-TV services provider to enter the Chinese market when it signed a deal with the Shanghai Cable Network earlier this year. Jupiter is partly owned by AT&T, Liberty Media Group and Microsoft.

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