This is a very interesting acquisition for Cisco. It is difficult to tell whether this is an expansion of their current market strategy, or simply a new tool to use to maintain current market share and possibly achieve greater market share. If properly merged, this could be a plus for them.
NDS has a long history. See the story here: http://msn.fool.com/EETimes/1997/EETimes970613d.htm
This is what I wrote back in 1997 when I visited NDS in Heathrow:
In the field of digital-video technology alone, News Corp. recently  consolidated three companies under the name NDS: a company formerly known as News Digital Systems, Digi-Media Vision and News Datacom. Digi-Media, before being acquired by News Corp., was the advanced-product division of the U.K.'s National Transcommunication Ltd.
One of the things about NDS that always impressed the industry about its conditional-access expertise. Without a good encryption technology, streaming video -- whether done through satellite, cable or "cloud" -- has always been an iffy proposition to content providers.