TiVo Exiting the Box-Making Business

New partner to manufacture TiVo’s retail devices, handle sales, distribution outside of TiVo.com
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TiVo retail devices

In a move that will get TiVo out of the hardware-making business, the company announced that it has signed a “major” device manufacturer to serve as its direct-to-consumer box partner.

Tied in, this partner, yet unnamed, will also take over retail sales of TiVo products outside of TiVo.com, including outlets such as Amazon and Best Buy, Enrique Rodriguez, TiVo’s president and CEO, said Thursday on the company’s Q1 earnings call.

TiVo, he explained, won’t produce or contract directly for the manufacturing of TiVo’s retail devices, but will secure the volumes needed from its new partner for sales made via TiVo.com.

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“In that sense, we’re acting as a distribution channel,” Rodriguez said. With respect to sales through other retail channels, “we’d be completely out of that transaction.”

For consumers, there will be no material change, as products will continue to be branded as TiVo and run the TiVo experience, he added.

TiVo has already made a similar move on its MSO partnership business, as its software and experience have been ported to devices made by Arris.

On the MSO front, TiVo has completely transitioned out of the hardware business, as Q1 was the last with MSO hardware revenue, as TiVo has completed fulfillment of orders made last year, Rodriguez said.

On the software front, Rodriguez reiterated that TiVo’s new platform, TiVo Experience 4, was released to the retail market in Q4 2017, and is becoming broadly available to MSO customers this quarter. In the MSO realm, TiVo is using that new platform to help partners embark on IPTV transitions and as a catalyst to migrate MSOs from legacy Rovi guides to the higher-end TiVo experience.

RELATED: TiVo Goes Device-Agnostic with New Platform for MVPDs

Service Electric Cable TV is already on board, as is RCN Corp., which will be the first to roll out an IPTV service using TiVo Experience 4 using an Android TV device. Mediacom Communications recently renewed and extended its deal with TiVo.

An example of TiVo's MSO experience for Android TV.

An example of TiVo's MSO experience for Android TV.

TiVo is also preparing to launch a new advertising product that provides sponsored, in-guide recommendation results for relevant programming. A mid-tier MSO with coverage across “multiple, large DMAs” is signed on to deploy this on mobile devices and set-top boxes, Rodriguez said.

That capability will be deployed within TiVo’s personalized content discovery suite, he added, noting that it enables TiVo’s anonymous viewership data to be matched with other anonymous first- and third-party information.

TiVo had no new detail to share about its ongoing exploration of alternatives aimed at driving shareholder value that could include M&A or taking the company private.

RELATED: TiVo ‘Exploring All Alternatives’ to Drive Shareholder Value

That process is ongoing, though TiVo expects to be ready to provide an update when it announced Q2 results, Rodriguez said.

There’s also no significant movement with respect to TiVo’s ongoing litigation with Comcast.

RELATED: Comcast Wants to Speed Up TiVo Case at ITC

“Getting a license [with Comcast] remains one of our top priorities,” Rodriguez said, holding that he’s “confident” that Comcast will eventually come to terms.

TiVo posted Q1 revenues of $189.83 million, down 7.7% year-over-year, driven by drops in its legacy TiVo solutions IP licenses and hardware line items.

TiVo, which merged with Rovi in the fall of 2016, said it reached its goal of realizing $100 million in integration synergies, and expects to complete its extended goal of $110 million by the end of Q2.

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