Viacom and Microsoft have forged a sweeping alliance under which the pair will collaborate over the next several years on advertising, content distribution, event promotions and games. As part of the new friendship, Microsoft will license content from nets such as MTV and Comedy Central for use by MSN and Xbox 360, buy ad time on Viacom’s linear and online nets, and work toward promotions and sponsorships for the MTVN and BETN award shows. The deal has a projected base value of approx $500mln in financial considerations and business services. — Cox and Gemstar-TV Guide have expanded their IPG-focused relationship to include product agreements covering Gemstar’s Passport IPG’s and certain features of “My TV Guide.” Also, Cox has been granted an IPG patent license. — As part of a new agreement, TV/film producer Jerry Bruckheimer will build a game incubation studio with MTV Games, seeding collaboration on all phases of video game development. MTVN plans to support the venture across all its broadcast and digital platforms including CMT, MTV, Spike and VH1. — Pace has conditionally agreed to purchase for approx $140mln Royal Philips’ set-top and connectivity solutions business, a French segment that employs 335 and designs digital TV products for satellite, cable and IPTV. 68mln new Pace shares will be issued to Philips at the deal’s completion, plus an additional 1.9mln shares afterward, giving Philips control of approx 23% of the enlarged Pace.

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