TiVo Loses 611,000 Subs Over Last Year

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TiVo lost 611,000 net subscribers in the last 12 months, to stand at 3.3 million as of Jan. 31, but the company claimed Comcast is making progress in deploying its DVR service.

TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers said Comcast "is fully marketing our product in the New England market and is in the process of adding and sharpening offers." In addition, he said, the nation's top cable operator is preparing to launch the service in Chicago.

For example, he said, Comcast recently introduced a DVR at $9.95 per month with free TiVo service as an option for their triple-play with HD. Regularly, the TiVo service is an extra $2.95 per month on top of the regular DVR service fee.

For the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, TiVo posted net revenue of $249.7 million, down 8% from the previous 12-month period, and a net profit of $103.6 million. In October 2008, EchoStar paid $104.6 million to TiVo after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear EchoStar's appeal in the patent-infringement case. (Excluding the EchoStar payment, TiVo said it would have reported a net profit of $0.3 million for fiscal 2009.)

Rogers referred to the EchoStar case as in its "final enforcement stage." The parties are awaiting a ruling from a federal judge in Texas, which held hearings Feb. 17-18 on TiVo's motion to find EchoStar in contempt for allegedly not disabling Dish Network's DVR functionality as the court had ordered. EchoStar has claimed the Dish Network DVRs do not infringe on TiVo's patent after the units were upgraded with software that included a workaround.

Also Monday, TiVo announced a partnership with SeaChange International, a provider of video-on-demand software and systems, to integrate cable on-demand services into the TiVo HD DVR experience. The "integrated experience" will be available to participating cable operators on select TiVo branded high-definition cable set-top boxes later this year.

"By teaming with SeaChange we are enabling cable operators without OCAP/tru2way deployment plans to increase the breadth and depth of their offering by quickly deploying TiVo set-top boxes that seamlessly integrate VOD in a single, intuitive TiVo interface," Rogers said in a statement.

In addition, TiVo said it signed a deal with Alticast, a provider of embedded software for set-top boxes, to deliver a version of the TiVo applications that run on top of Alicast's middleware.

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