TiVo Contemplates Premium Channels For Cord Cutters

TechHive held quite the conversation with TiVo at CES. And one of the most promising revelations was TiVo contemplating a service similar to HDHomeRun Premium, to commingle streaming “cable” channels alongside OTA antenna television. Essentially, cable content without the cable company. But unlike, say, a walled garden Sling TV app, TiVo would would merge these disparate content sources within their single, superior interface… to include recording.

Another approach for TiVo would be to offer its own live TV streaming service, similar to what SiliconDust has done with its $35-per-month HDHomeRun Premium TV offering. That way, cord-cutters could keep the DVR experience they had with cable and get more than just over-the-air channels. Malone said TiVo has considered offering such a package.

“I think if we were to do something there, we would want it to be seamlessly integrated into the tuner experience,” Malone said. “We don’t have any plans to announce right now, but… I would like to have something to announce in the area.”

Hopefully TiVo has a more effective partner lined up versus Silicon Dust, who had lost several channels in an extended contract dispute… and never had Nick Jr.

21 thoughts on “TiVo Contemplates Premium Channels For Cord Cutters”

  1. This is awesome, IF they can pull it off at a reasonable price. Hopefully, it’ll have some sort of “choose your own” lineup to be most effective.

  2. There’s no way TiVo prices this competitively. Their hardware prices and service fees are already too high.

  3. This exactly what logical people have been saying they should do. Clearly their partnerships with cable providers may not be a hindrance to smart business decisions after all.

  4. THIS actually could bring relevancy back to TiVo. Bolt w/ lifetime service becomes a more economical solution with the emergence of using streaming device apps versus buying a bunch of TiVo Minis and the availability of a solid OTT service with possible local DVR capability.

  5. @Tom – I don’t see why the pricing couldn’t be competitive. I would think any paid streaming packages would supplant any of the monthly fees you would ordinarily pay for general guide info.

    I could see them offering a $40 month option that would cover 75% of what most people would want and it would blow the doors off of similarly priced options from the other OTT players.

    I would drop DirecTV Now in heartbeat for the native DVR, traditional interface, ability to pause/rewind live TV, etc.

    It would offer all of the creature comforts of traditional cable/sat at OTT pricing – which NO ONE has at this point.

  6. TiVo is so far behind the curve by the time they offer a streaming package 3/4 of thier potential market will be invested in something else.

  7. @Mike The nice thing about OTT is everything is month to month and you can come and go and switch as you choose.

    I think if TiVo advertises and differentiates the offering well enough it could get plenty of switchers.

    Especially if they offer some sort of bundle or offering involving purchasing a bolt up front or purchasing 3-6 months package and throwing in a bolt.

  8. First interesting thing I’ve seen from TiVo in years. So they would essentially be offering IPTV with local recording? Are they bound by the restrictions of content producers to have the recorded content deleted after ‘X’ number of days, like YouTube TV? That is the $64,000 question.

  9. @Bryan-I wouldn’t say no one has. Some traditional cable/sat offers highly competitive pricing equal to or better than what the OTT offerings charge. So they offer the creature comforts and the price. The key though is that you have to avoid paying the cable company for their expensive boxes.

    I used to pay $120 a month including taxes and fees and cable card to Fios for phone, internet and their Ultimate package which includes all the premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix…) and the more premium sports channels like NFL Redzone. This year my price increased to $132 a month all in (though I did get faster internet that I don’t need) but it’s still a really great deal for what I get. Assuming phone and internet would run me around $70 with taxes and fees, I’m only paying about $60 for TV which is far less than OTT options when factoring in the cost of HBO and Showtime. Plus I can record it all on TiVo and watch whenever I want without any restrictions.

  10. @Bryan-I wouldn’t say no one has. Some traditional cable/sat offers highly competitive pricing equal to or better than what the OTT offerings charge. So they offer the creature comforts and the price. The key though is that you have to avoid paying the cable company for their expensive boxes.

    I used to pay $120 a month including taxes and fees and cable card to Fios for phone, internet and their Ultimate package which includes all the premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix…) and the more premium sports channels like NFL Redzone. This year my price increased to $132 a month all in (though I did get faster internet that I don’t need) but it’s still a really great deal for what I get. Assuming phone and internet would run me around $70 with taxes and fees, I’m only paying about $60 for TV which is far less than OTT options when factoring in the cost of HBO and Showtime. Plus I can record it all on TiVo and watch whenever I want without any restrictions.

    Granted not everyone has good pricing from their cable companies. But if you have some competition where you live you can probably negotiate better pricing if you try.

  11. My FIOS contract ends early February and I’ve been trying out an antenna, SD Premium TV, and channels combo. It would reduce my TV bill about $60 per month. I plan on selling my TiVo’s because they’re cable not OTA. Maybe I’ll hang on to the mini’s just in case Tivo goes through with this. Probably not because Channels and Apple TV are faster and easier to use than Tivo.

  12. @Bryan, “If” is a small word with a big meaning.

    If TiVo cared about streaming it would have updated it app list a long time ago.

    If I buy the HomRunPremium now, why would I switch to TiVo later?

    TiVo lags in the realm of streaming service.

  13. I’d be happy with just being able to run my DirecTV Now app directly from the TiVo. Add more apps to the anemic selection they already include. It would take them too long to implement a competitive streaming service.

  14. If they pulled off their own TV service, I’d put money on it having guide data issues. You know I’m right. It wouldn’t be TiVo otherwise

  15. @mike network attached tuners are primarily the realm of tech nerds at this point (I don’t see that changing), and the complexity and user experience is far inferior to a TiVo connected to your tv.

    Tivo still has the brand equity to provide a competitive option for cord cutters that would offer a familiar experience that would have a big list of selling points over the OTT options out there today.

  16. Bryan,

    I have a Tivo. I like it a lot.
    I would welcome any improvement over the anemic apps they have included. But because their included apps are so slow to load I use a FireStick as my go-to streamer.

    I just don’t hold out any hope that they will make improvements anytime soon.

    I disagree with your take on network tuners being for tech nerds.
    They are no harder to get going than a TiVo w/ TiVo minis and a bit less expensive.

    If I did not already have a TiVo I would buy a network tuner tomorrow.

  17. Not only is there mere change coming in the entertainment delivery market, but the entire cable business model is disappearing. We have heard about unbundling, but there are other threats they will have to deal with. Networks are finding alternative delivery methods, so amounts paid for content by bundling cable companies prices for will be increasing. At the same time, the large equipment plant required to deliver cable will be constant, the classic hammer and anvil. As soon as the cable monopoly powers are supplanted by 5G and other wireless delivery, the cable companies will come crashing down. A fitting end to those monopolies that have been overcharging us, the poor consumers, for decades.

  18. Manxe,
    If the cable cos come crashing down, who will provide the content?
    The cable cos are the same cos who provide streaming services.
    They are simply evolving.
    Soon streaming will cost as much as cable.
    And 5G won’t be cheap either.

    The best way to save money is an OTA TV appetite.

  19. Since Tivo’s are at heart DVRs, why would I want streaming services I can’t record. I didn’t buy Tivo to use it as a Roku, keep non-recordable services to a minimum and let streaming boxes have all that excess clutter errr. apps, no clutter.

  20. MJR- what we are talking about is TiVo presumptively adding streaming cable channels within their native interface that you CAN record with the dvr hardware.

    That is the whole point of what could make TiVo’s offering a huge differentiator vs the mish mash of OTT options with seriously hamstrung user experiences compared with native DVrs.

  21. The current Tivo apps grow stale and lack the functionality of their counterparts on other platforms. Hard to believe developers will produce an app with functionality unique to Tivo.

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