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TiVo signs Premiere box to deliver Comcast Xfinity programming

TiVo has never been too far from the thoughts of Comcast, not since the 2005 deal when it arranged to have TiVo DVR software built into the Motorola d


Published: 12 May, 2011


TiVo has never been too far from the thoughts of Comcast, not since the 2005 deal when it arranged to have TiVo DVR software built into the Motorola devices it was using. Since then Comcast has been able to offer the smart recording technology and interactive advertising features which TiVo has developed, including its WishList search, Season Pass recordings and TiVoToGo.

This deal has been announced not so coincidentally just after news of TiVo’s settlement with Dish, and now Comcast is going to go a step further and allow its Xfinity TV on Demand TV Everywhere service to terminate in a TiVo Premiere box and feed into a TV. The boxes will be sold retail, and promoted through both organizations’ channels. We assume the move means that Comcast customers can also buy TiVo service directly from TiVo as well, using its cloud based search services. Comcast says that it has in excess of 25,000 pieces of video on its Xfinity internet delivery service.

This means that TiVo and Comcast will co-market the Premiere box to Comcast customers, initially in the San Francisco Bay area, and then broadly across the US in some of the biggest markets first. So far Comcast customers must take Xfinity over a Comcast broadband line and be Comcast subscribers already, and the same is true of other TiVo cable customers – but at some stage Comcast will be set to unleash the full Xfinity service outside its footprint with this service, as Virgin Media has said it plans to in the UK. Comcast has never said it will do this, and there are issues with Net Neutrality in the US, but it will become too tempting at some point in the future, we suspect.

Comcast customers will be able to use a TiVo Premiere box for an integrated experience, taking in on demand, linear TV and a range of broadband services, accessible through TiVo's user interface and with its cloud search capabilities. Comcast said it will install TiVo Premiere set-tops with its cable service at no additional charge, when the service is available in those markets.

“Adding Comcast's On Demand library to TiVo Premiere is a fantastic win for consumers because it will offer access to the ultimate television viewing experience with the programming viewers want. Traditional TV channels, On Demand and broadband delivered content will all be accessible with TiVo's universal search capability and TiVo's stunning HD user-interface,” said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo.

We would expect that many more TiVo deals have been waiting in the wings until the legal position regarding EchoStar was resolved, not just in the US, but outside it as well. If you add to that the potential for a settlement and further deals with both AT&T and Verizon, which are unlikely to continue to fight now that a value has been placed on the Dish settlement, then TiVo should be in for a strong near-term future.


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