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Bells 'n' Whistles

How much extra dough would you pony up to have your Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) set-top/DVR outfitted with TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s nifty user interface and applications?

While some analysts have predicted that the premium for TiVo on those boxes could be in the neighborhood of $9 per month, Comcast and the DVR pioneer are starting things off with an aggressive monthly "up-charge" of $2.95.

TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers revealed the price point during Wednesday's third-quarter call with reporters and analysts. (Here's the transcript.)

He reiterated that Comcast is offering TiVo-powered set-tops in some "non-employee subscriber homes" in the MSO's New England region and expects a full marketing effort, including cross-channel TV spots, packaged bundles, and "win-back offers," to begin shortly. (See TiVo Set-Tops Trickle Out .)

TiVo believes its platform offers advantages over cable's more "generic" DVR platform, and that customers will be willing to pay a premium for it.

Rogers declined to say how many Comcast subs in Boston have signed up online to request the TiVo service so far, nor did he give guidance on when he believes the rollout with the MSO will become "material" to TiVo's bottom line.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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