TiVo Still Hopeful it Can Strike ‘Creative’ Deal With Comcast

But video tech company still prepared to go through litigation
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TiVo’s patent infringement lawsuits against Comcast are moving ahead, but the company is still hopeful that it can get a deal done without having to take those cases to the bitter end.

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“Our approach has been to do our best to try to avoid litigation and to get a reasonable deal done,” TiVo president and CEO Tom Carson said Thursday on the company’s earnings call, pointing out that TiVo and Samsung have come to terms and will avoid a court showdown.

RELATED: TiVo, Samsung Bury The Hatchet

With a renewal with Dish Network (including Sling TV) completed done following the completion of the TiVo-Rovi merger in September, the maker of user interfaces and supplier of metadata services now has deals salted away with nine of the top 10 U.S. pay TV providers.

"Frankly I have a hard time seeing how Comcast doesn’t take a license,” Carson said. “I would hope that all of the deals we have now sends a message to Comcast that the industry I set in terms of what the rates are…We're very, very open to trying to come up with a creative solution with Comcast like we have with everybody else.”

Samir Armaly, TiVo’s VP, intellectual property and licensing, said the expectation that the International Trade Commission case will go to trial by mid-December, and the pending district case likely won’t reach that stage until mid-to-late 2018.

On the financial front, TiVo posted Q3 revenues of $153.1 million, up 33%  year-over-year, reflecting the recent closing of the merger and the Dish licensing renewal.  TiVo posted Q3 net income of $49.9 million, versus a year-ago net loss of $18.5 million.

Service provider revenue was $126 million, up from $94 million a year earlier. Service provider revenues represented 82% of all revenues, versus 16% from the consumer electronics market, and 2% “other.”

TiVo said it’s comfortable with its $100 million-plus synergy target from the merger, and expects to exit 2016 with over $40 million of run-rate cost synergies, putting it ahead of plan to achieve 65% of its target within 12 months of the closure of the Rovi-TiVo deal.

RELATED: Rovi Seals Deal for TiVo

While integration is a near-term focus, Carson said there’s a longer-term significant growth opportunity for the company as it looks to strike deals for 17 million homes on legacy iGuide and Passport EPGs to the higher-end and higher ARPU TiVo experience.

“This will take some time, but operators around the world are migrating toward IP or IP hybrid solutions,” he said, noting that a TiVo-branded platform mixes OTT with an operator’s VOD and linear TV offerings. 

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