Virgin Media Extends TiVo Agreement

Deal Expands To 2020, Will Factor In Next-Gen TiVo Solutions
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TiVo’s big play in the U.K. is getting a boost in the form of a new, expanded deal with Virgin Media that will keep the relationships going through 2020.

TiVo and Virgin Media, the U.K.’s largest cable MSO, announced Thursday that they have struck a new deal that extends for a further three years their existing five-year partnership.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but as part the deal Virgin Media has committed “to the development of next-generation solutions from TiVo.” 

The agreement will look to build on the success Virgin Media has already achieved with TiVo so far. The MSO, which began to offer a TiVo-powered offering in 2010, said it ended 2014 with 2.5 million TiVo subs, equal to about 68% of its video subscriber base. TiVo ended its fiscal year (ended Jan. 21, 2015) with almost 5.47 million subs (944,000 TiVo-owned subs, and 4.52 million via MVPD partners).

TiVo and Virgin Media did not detail the next-gen plans, but the new deal gives TiVo assurances that it will continue to play a key role at the MSO as it looks to spend £3 billion (US$4.6 billion) to expand the reach of its network to 4 million additional homes and businesses over the next five years. 

The deal “represents incremental revenue opportunity and validates the good work we've done for our largest customer,” TiVo said. 

Liberty Global, which acquired Virgin Media in July 2013, has been going in a different direction in its other systems around Europe, leaning on Horizon, a new IP-capable platform that will eventually migrate to a platform that utilizes the Reference Design Kit (RDK) – the preintegratred software stack being managed by Liberty Global, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. TiVo has set aside R&D dollars for RDK-facing work, but has not announced any specific RDK product plans.

“We’re pleased to continue our relationship with TiVo in the UK. Virgin Media continues to lead the UK market in bringing together the broadest choice of programming along with the best way to access it,” Virgin Media COO Gregor McNeil said in a statement.

“Virgin Media has been among our most innovative customers, successfully deploying TiVo and leveraging our integration of linear, VOD and OTT content sources to create an unmatched offering in the UK,” added David Sandford, VP and GM of TiVo’s international operator business. “TiVo is proud to serve Virgin Media with critical solutions in a challenging and competitive landscape, helping to drive revenue growth and material gains in customer satisfaction.”