TiVo: Most OTA Cord-Cutters Come From Satellite

Says Cable Must Embrace OTA/OTT Combos
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TiVo hasn’t revealed any specific sales figures for its Roamio OTA DVR model for cord-cutters, but a new study by the company indicates that most of them are coming way of the satellite TV industry.

In a survey fielded late last year that polled more than 500 Roamio OTA DVR buyers, TiVo found that the majority of those who were pay TV cord-cutters (32%) were formerly satellite DVR users.

Those cord-cutting consumers also cited the cost of their monthly bill and dissatisfaction with the overall features as the primary reasons for switching to an OTA approach.

Following an initial limited rollout, TiVo launched the Roamio OTA DVR on a national basis in February. The device, equipped with 500 Gigabytes of storage, four tuners, and integrations with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other over-the-top video services, sells for $49.99 at retail, plus a $14.99 per month service fee.  TiVo has also been experimenting with a Lifetime Service option that hawks the Roamio OTA for $300, but does not require a monthly service fee.

“The data we’ve collected shows a clear trend – satellite TV subscribers are more likely than cable subscribers to cut the cord in favor of an OTA DVR,” Tom Rogers, TiVo’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “TiVo has an OTA solution for operators that helps them capitalize on these potential new customers by packaging broadband with a unique OTA service that seamlessly combines OTA signals alongside popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.”

Rogers called on the cable industry to embrace the OTA/OTT combination to capture satellite TV subs who are seeking alternatives to traditional pay TV services. Frontier Communications has already taken heed, announcing in February a plan to offer a co-branded version of the TiVo Roamio OTA to broadband-only subscribers. Rogers has said that TiVo is in talks with cable operaotrs about offering an MSO-optimized version of the OTA product.

Outside of TiVo’s MVPD partnership sphere, Cablevision Systems last month introduced a series of cord-cutter packages starting at $34.90 per month that mix high-speed Internet and OTA antennas, as well as packages that include the MSO’s new WiFi-only Freewheel phone service and access to HBO Now, the premium programmer’s new stand-alone OTT subscription service.