Barron’s Article Sinks TiVo Stock


TiVo Inc. stock plunged nearly 12% ($1.31) to $9.89 per share Monday after a
Barron’s article raised competitive concerns about the maker of
digital-video recorders.

TiVo investors -- who enjoyed a nice run-up in the stock after TiVo received
some free marketing in the form of on-air product placement on Home Box Office’s
Sex and the City and several other programs -- apparently couldn’t take
the criticism from Barron’s, which brought up old issues regarding
competition once cable operators begin rolling out their own brand of DVRs.

According to the Barron’s article, despite the hype, TiVo has only
about 700,000 subscribers, and its relationship with DirecTV Inc. -- through
which about 38% of TiVo’s customers access the service -- is tentative.

In the article, Barron’s pointed out that once News Corp.’s pending
acquisition of DirecTV is approved -- expected by the end of the year -- News
Corp. may opt to go with DVR technology developed by its own subsidiary, NDS
Group plc.

Add to the mix cable set-top-box makers Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and Motorola
Inc. -- which are rolling out their own DVR-enabled set-tops to cable operators
-- and the prospects for TiVo look sketchy, Barron’s