TiVo Returns to the UK with Virgin in 2010

Dave Zatz —  November 24, 2009

virgin-tivo

As TiVo does, they fire off feel-good news (for investors) along most quarterly earnings calls – to possibly soften the blow of continued subscriber defections. Today, they’ve announced a deal in which Google will be mining our TiVo commercial viewing (er, skipping) behavior to enhance their television advertising initiative. Yawn. Much more interesting, via a release late to the wire, is news that TiVo will be re-entering the UK television market in a big way, by partnering with Virgin:

TiVo will become the exclusive provider of middleware and user interface software for Virgin Media’s next generation set top boxes. Virgin Media will become the exclusive distributor of TiVo services and technology in the United Kingdom. Virgin Media currently anticipates its first TiVo co-branded product in 2010.

In other partner news from the call… The fabled, new DirecTV TiVo hardware will indeed launch next year. And, in my opinion, surely juice TiVo’s subscribers numbers. Although no specific timeline has been provided. The Comcast and Cox TiVo initiatives continue to sputter along. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if either, or both, cable providers pull the plug at some point.

Lastly, something perhaps previously alluded to by a TiVo employee on Twitter and something I’ve been scouring the FCC records for, “a new keyboard remote control” is under development. Which could be related to the re-upping and expansion in 2009 of their 2005 RFID remote patent application for personalized viewing experiences. But we remain in the dark regarding the mysterous wireless access point.

7 responses to TiVo Returns to the UK with Virgin in 2010

  1. The box above is an ‘artist’s rendering’ featuring the current V+ HD box, along with a TiVo Glo remote.

    Also, normally I’d wait for the Seeking Alpha call transcript for more juicy nuggets… but I’m heading out of the country tomorrow and my schedule is tight. So I’m reporting based solely on TiVo’s investor release and 8k.

  2. So if this is anything like Tivo’s parternship with Comcast which was announced in 2006 and is still in a limited rollout in New England only, then the real date won’t be 2010 but 2014.

  3. Well, the reason that the Comcast thing has been so slow going has been limited deployment on Comcast’s part, and the fact that TiVo had to write to Comcast’s existing Motorola boxes (which are crap). In other words, TiVo got screwed.

    By contrast, the DirecTV deal was announced only about a year ago, and is supposed to ship next year, so TiVo is capable of getting things out quickly if they the circumstances are better…

  4. @JBoss

    Originally the DirecTV TiVo was supposed to be out in 2009, it was back in April that it was officially delayed until “sometime” in 2010.

    And it has been over 14 months since the announcement (9/3/08) and we haven’t even seen a demo, I wouldn’t call that “quickly” by any definition.

  5. Plus, I’m not sure “TiVo got screwed” as it’s my understanding that Comcast has bankrolled the vast majority of the development work. Regarding the DirecTV TiVo, they’ve backed away from their ‘early next year’ and ‘Q1’ estimates (after missing 2009 altogether) and are now just saying next year.

  6. A keyboard remote? Damn, I just dropped $100 on a new Logitech 880. I would like to see the DirecTV TiVo, maybe I’ll switch back to satellite. I loved my DTV, I called them twice in 6 years of having it. Once for the initial set up and a second time to activate an additional receiver. The Cablevision calls have stopped ever since they replaced my 25 year old service to the house from the pole. Which BTW, I diagnosed as the problem.

  7. I wish I could get the Comcast Tivo software loaded on my DCX3400. Been talking about it since 2005. It’s about 5 years too late now.