Video services

TiVo Ends Subscriber-Losing Streak

Word that TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s subscriber base is back in the black kicks off Wednesday's look around the cable realm.

  • Early success with Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) in the U.K. helped TiVo end the third quarter with 117,000 net new customers, halting a four-year streak of subscriber losses. Virgin had 220,000 subs taking the TiVo option by the end of October. Among developments with service provider customers, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is field testing retail TiVo boxes that are integrated with the MSO's video-on-demand system, and DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) expects to launch its new TiVo product in "select markets" next month, with a national launch set for 2012. Despite that traction, TiVo still posted a US$24.5 million third-quarter net loss on revenues of $51.8 million, which rose 25 percent on the year-ago quarter.

  • Charter Communications Inc. and James Cable LLC closed a system swap in which Charter traded its Douglas, Ga., system serving about 5,200 subs for James-owned systems in Eatonton, Ga., and Roanoke and Gu-Win, Ala., that serve about 8,300 customers. The swap expands Charter's cluster of systems in Alabama and Georgia that serve more than 500,000 subs.

  • Engadget offers an early look at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Barcelona guide for legacy Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Motorola Mobility LLC cable set-tops. The guide, built for HD sets and 16x9 graphics along with improved search capabilities, is already deployed in Florida, with more markets on deck before the end of 2011.

  • Comcast has taken the wraps off the Xfinity Wireless Gateway, a Docsis 3.0 device originally nicknamed "Dory" that bakes in 802.11n, a wideband modem and a voice adapter. Early on, the MSO is offering the Comcast-managed device only to customers that take its fastest tiers: Blast! (20Mbit/s downstream), Extreme 50 and Extreme 105. The MSO confirmed that Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and SMC Networks Inc. are making the new gateways.

  • A Massachusetts law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Comcast and Charter over claims the MSO made customers jump through hoops to receive credits or refunds in the wake of service outages caused by a snowstorm in late October. The total number of plaintiffs reportedly could reach 1.2 million.

  • And here's more speculation about that iTV that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s developing. Jefferies & Co. Inc. analyst Peter Misek believes Sharp Electronics Corp. is tweaking its TV production line in Sakai, Japan, to accommodate the Apple device. He thinks the line could be ready for commercial production by Feb. 2012, setting things up for a possible mid-2012 product introduction. (See Jobs Bio Confirms Apple Television Plan .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:48:10 PM
    re: TiVo Ends Subscriber-Losing Streak

    As Mari Silbey points out here, the guide also includes Comcast's multi-room "AnyRoom DVR" feature, and apparently Cisco boxes will get Barcelona first, followed by Moto, which already has access to the AnyRoom feature via the A28 guide.

    But agree that there's much more interest in seeing Comcast roll out its cloud-based Xcalibur guide, which won't show its face in a broad way until sometime next year. JB


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