Yesterday it was rumor. Now it’s confirmed: TiVo and Comcast have made a deal to put the TiVo interface on a Comcast box. From News.com:
TiVo and cable giant Comcast have reached a distribution deal, easing some investor concerns over the digital video recorder pioneer’s future.
The companies announced the agreement Tuesday, saying they are working to make TiVo’s DVR service and interactive advertising capability available over Comcast’s cable network. The first of their co-developed products will be available in mid- to late-2006 and will use the TiVo brand. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the alliance is long term and nonexclusive.
Why on earth will it take 18 months to roll out products? In this industry, that’s a lifetime. And do you think Microsoft, which is supplying the foundation software for other Comcast boxes, will stand still during that time?
Although this is probably good news for TiVo stockholders, it’s of little practical value for me, because I don’t live in a Comcast service area. TiVo, will you please call Cox Cable and work out a deal with them?
Update: I just read the TiVo press release, which includes a rosy quote from TiVo Vice Chairman Tom Rogers. A few years back, I worked for About.com when they were purchased by Primedia. At the time, Mr. Rogers was chairman and CEO of Primedia, and I sat in several transition meetings where he explained how bright our future was. Most of those statements, it later turned out, were pure BS. Based on that experience, I’m betting against the TiVo-Comcast deal.