TiVo And DirecTV Extend Pact

Dave Zatz —  April 12, 2006

Huge, huge news! While not unexpected given DTV’s slow start in transitioning customers off to TiVo and the associated expenses, this is very good news for both TiVo as a company and for DirecTV TiVo customers. The original agreement was set to expire in about a year, at which point TiVo would have stopped providing service to DirecTV. Of particular interest, and surely no coincidence during the Echostar case, is the mention of a patent rights truce.

Apr 12, 2006 08:00 ET

TiVo and DIRECTV Agree to Extend Relationship for Three Years

Agreement Guarantees Quality Service for Existing DIRECTV TiVo Subscribers; Also Addresses Intellectual Property

ALVISO, Calif., April 12 — TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) , the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and DIRECTV, Inc. (NYSE:DTV) , the nation’s leading digital television service provider, today announced a three-year extension to the TiVo-DIRECTV commercial agreement.

Existing DIRECTV TiVo subscribers will be able to continue to receive the award-winning TiVo(R) service, with TiVo providing ongoing maintenance and support. In addition, TiVo and DIRECTV agree not to assert patent rights against the other. The agreement also extends the advertising relationship between the two companies. DIRECTV will continue to service existing DIRECTV receivers with TiVo service. While specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the recurring monthly economics of the agreement are similar to the economics for DIRECTV receivers with TiVo service activated since 2003.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with DIRECTV that will allow us to continue to provide our service to the more than 2 million DIRECTV TiVo households,” said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. “As the pioneer in the DVR market, we have created a service that is highly valued by consumers because of our technology, the wide range of our unique features and the unparalleled ease of our user experience. This agreement reflects TiVo’s popularity among DIRECTV subscribers and importantly respects the value of our intellectual property as well.”

“By extending our agreement with TiVo, we are ensuring quality support for DIRECTV customers who already own a DIRECTV TiVo unit,” said Romulo Pontual, DIRECTV’s chief technology officer. “We are pleased to cooperate with TiVo in a way that will best serve DIRECTV and our DIRECTV TiVo customers.”

4 responses to TiVo And DirecTV Extend Pact

  1. I bought a DirecTV Tivo about 2 years ago and have been upset by that fact they will not upgrade software to support networking and other media functions. Does this new agreement mean I’ll finally get the latest Tivo software?!

  2. I doubt it — I think DirecTV is just buying more time until they can migrate more subscribers to their own DVR platform and MPEG-4. Moving millions of folks off current DirecTV TiVo hardware over the next 10 months or so wasn’t going to happen. There are ways to hack your current DTV unit for adavanced functionality though…

  3. I hope it means the HD TIVO will get the 6.x software – but I doubt it.. If anyone has ever tried the DirecTV brand DVR – it is a steaming pile of crap when compared to Tivo!!

  4. Yes, I’ve “TESTED” the new Dtv dvr. I give it a D- compared to my 4 Directv Tivo dvr’s The few other words I can use to describe it would be: LAME, PATHEDIC, SLOW, ACKWARD & HARD TO USE.

    Menues are a joke compared to the Tivo’s, actually there is NO comparison. The Tivo LEADS for lack of crap and usability!

    I do believe that a Directv customers ONLY hope in the next three and a half years is that Tivo works out a deal with Dishnetwork (whom they sued and WON) to incorporate the Tivo dvr service into DN units like they did with DTV. That would grab up MOST of the DTV customers that LOVE there Tivos and give many DN dvr owners a USABLE/ENJOYABLE system.