Cable Tech

TiVo/Cox Deal: Is It Enough?

Seeking to jumpstart its sputtering growth, TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) on Thursday announced a deal whereby Cox Communications Inc. will plug TiVo's digital video recorders (DVRs) to a big chunk of its more than 2.4 million digital cable customers.

The agreement with Cox, now the fourth largest MSO in the U.S. with 5.4 million basic cable subscribers, is the second pact that TiVo has signed with a major cable operator in the past year and a half. The DVR maker, which has been scrambling to find cable and telco marketing partners since it lost its exclusive pact with DirecTV last year, signed a similar deployment deal with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in March 2005. TiVo also notched a DVR-DSL co-marketing agreement with BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) about a month ago.

Industry analysts applaud TiVo's new cable strategy. But some question whether the Comcast and Cox deals will really provide that much of a revenue boost for TiVo. In a fresh dispatch from Wall Street, for instance, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. analyst Brian Coyne argues that the Cox pact will generate no more than $3 million in additional annual revenue for TiVo by 2009.

"While we recognize the positive aspects of this deal, as it helps ensure the longer-term survival of TiVo's software, we have difficulty seeing how this agreement results in a meaningful new growth opportunity for the company," Coyne writes in a note to investors. Even if all major U.S. MSOs struck similar deals with TiVo, he posits, it would produce no more than $35 million to $40 million in annual revenue for the firm by 2009, or less than 20 percent of TiVo's projected 2007 sales of $240 million.

Read the whole story at Cable Digital News.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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