Successful Huddle for NFL, TiVo

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The National Football League and TiVo Inc. are now on the same page of the playbook.

The league and the digital-video-recorder vendor said Tuesday that they have reached an understanding addressing concerns the NFL expressed in Federal Communications Commission proceedings regarding a potential new TiVo feature that would give consumers the capability to remotely access broadcast programming that they record.

The league had issues regarding piracy, misuse and real-time transmission of live NFL games to users in remote locations outside of subscribers’ local television markets.

“After extensive discussions with TiVo, the NFL agreed that enhancing the ability of individual TiVo subscribers to access their own recorded programming remotely from properties, such as vacation homes owned by those subscribers, is both in the public interest and is a positive advance in technology that should be encouraged,” the two parties said in a prepared statement.

The NFL and TiVo agreed to work together to protect live NFL games against real-time retransmission outside of the subscriber's local television market, while providing consumers with the ability to remotely access their own recorded broadcast programming after its initial airing.

The league will also work with the vendor to develop unique NFL content for TiVo to provide to its subscribers, the two parties said.

“It is critical that we balance our interest in innovation and adding new capabilities to our service with a profound respect for intellectual-property rights, which is why we've invested so much effort in developing a technology that allows us to do both,” TiVo president Marty Yudkovitz said in a prepared statement.

NFL executive vice president of media and NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein added, “We are pleased TiVo has agreed to deploy the technology in a way that will not permit the real-time signal piracy that the NFL has always viewed with great concern.”

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