TiVo Wants Access To a Combined AT&T/DirecTV

By way of the TiVo Community and an FCC filing, we learn that TiVo has petitioned the powers that be for access to customers of a combined AT&T and DirecTV – should the merger be approved (now with NFL in the bag). And they do make a compelling argument… including drawing a clever parallel to Ma Bell (which is entirely unrelated to the current entity in anything other than name).

Any FCC action approving the merger of the leading DBS MVPD and the leading IPTV MVPD must require that the merged company comply meaningfully and effectively with existing law, including Section 629’s obligation to support commercial competitive devices.

If the merger is allowed, the merged company, in addition to being the largest MVPD, will be the only MVPD to supply programming and services via both direct satellite and wired transmissions. With its national scope, the new AT&T will in certain respects resemble the original AT&T system — a system that was required to open its network to device competition under the Commission

Further, TiVo doesn’t pull any punches in regards to DirecTV, leading us to wonder if their current partnership has soured in some way. TiVo has previously indicated discontent in regards to DTV’s decision to develop and deploy the prior TiVo experience…

TiVo’s experience with DIRECTV has shown that technical access to programming has not been a stumbling block to the use of retail devices. Device competition has been constrained, instead, by DIRECTV’s business objective of controlling the relevant device market, in a manner contrary to the intent of Section 629 and Commission regulations.

5 thoughts on “TiVo Wants Access To a Combined AT&T/DirecTV”

  1. Woo-hoo!

    Good on TiVo. Makes perfect sense, and should be done. (And, of course, it will definitely be done in a another branch of the multiverse where regulators are sensible and non-corrupt. In this particular branch of the multiverse, we’ll just have to wish for luck.)

  2. After the way that DirecTV delayed the THR22 and force gimped it, I’d say the relationship between the two soured.

  3. Hopefully they seriously take this under consideration. I can not partake in the Tivo experience because as a DirecTV customer, my only option is last decade’s Tivo experience, or DirecTV’s own experience.

    I always wondered who’s fault was it, DirecTV or Tivo – that is for developing last generations UI on underpowered hardware. If Tivo had their way, perhaps it would be more akin to a Premiere or Roamio, just with multi-SWM tuner instead of a 1 GHz QAM tuner.

  4. I have the THR22 and it is fine, but dated. Because if the lack of device competition in the DirecTV universe, I have to choose between the old TiVo experience and modern features.

    I can do without streaming — every freakin’ device seems to do that now. But I really would like whole-home DVR, with a TiVo UI. I’d have to switch to Comcast to do that, however.

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