Buckeye Broadband, Blue Stream Fiber, Blue Ridge and Bluepeak are among the first to offer 'TiVo Broadband,' a package that ties in third-party apps, TiVo's FAST channels and a way to upgrade to TiVo's managed IPTV service.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

February 26, 2024

3 Min Read
TiVo+ screen capture
(Source: TiVo/Xperi)

Many cable operators – particularly in the Tier 2/3 segment – have taken a "broadband-first" footing by concentrating heavily on high-margin broadband services while being relatively indifferent to pay-TV.

Some operators are branching away from their legacy video platforms by adopting managed IP- and app-based offerings. Meanwhile, other operators, stung by surging programming costs, are going to the extreme by exiting the pay-TV business and effectively ceding that ground to third-party virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs). Among recent examples, Consolidated Communications plans to bug out of pay-TV by the end of the year as it instead promotes vMVPD options such as DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV and Fubo.

TiVo, a unit of Xperi that's largely engaged with the Tier 2/3 crowd, has been on top of that trend by seeking ways to help operators keep their hand in the video game, even among broadband-only customers.

After initially focusing efforts on hybrid QAM/IP boxes, the company later expanded to an app-based managed IPTV platform that is partly underpinned by its 2021 acquisition of MobiTV. Pay-TV, Xperi's largest contributor, saw revenues climb 3% to $60.31 million in Q3 2023, driven by growing operator adoption of TiVo's IPTV platform. Xperi is scheduled to announce Q4 2023 results this Thursday (February 29).

Related:TiVo advances on smart TVs, streaming options for broadband partners

'TiVo Broadband' debuted at CES 2024

TiVo's operator-focused video strategy took a new step forward in January, when the company trotted out "TiVo Broadband," a suite of products designed to help operators enter the streaming era and offer a video platform that's tailored for their broadband-only customers.

TiVo Broadband integrates a wide range of third-party premium streaming apps (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu) and TiVo+, the company's free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service. TiVo Broadband also provides a way for users to upgrade to a managed IPTV platform offered by its operator partners.  

Billed as a platform that allows subscribers to transition back-and-forth between TiVo Broadband and IPTV, the baseline offering is branded by TiVo's operator partners. TiVo's Q2 2023 Video Trends Report, a survey of 4,500 consumers in the US and Canada, found that 28% of current pay-TV subs said they once previously cut the cord only to resubscribe to pay-TV later down the line.

TiVo is supporting the offering with a blend of streaming devices, including Evolution Digital's Evo Force 1 and Fuse 4K streaming stick. Xperi also has plans to launch smart TVs powered by the TiVo OS in North America later this year. TiVo is exploring the idea of developing an operator-distributed smart TV running its operating system, but it has not announced formal plans to follow through with a commercial offering.

Related:TiVo-powered TVs start shipping in Europe

TiVo has made some progress with TiVo Broadband, announcing today that Buckeye Broadband, Blue Stream Fiber, Blue Ridge Communications and Bluepeak are among the first operator partners to offer it.

"We believe the TiVo Broadband service will provide a meaningful alternative programming source for our customers as we continue to innovate and offer complementary solutions that ease programming issues," Buckeye Broadband President Geoff Shook said in a statement.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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