TiVo-NCTC agreement enables MobiTV service to live on

TiVo has signed a master services agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative that paves the way for NCTC members to continue to receive MobiTV's IPTV service. The deal is coming together a few weeks after TiVo emerged as the top bidder for MobiTV's assets.

Financial terms were not announced, but the deal covers TiVo's implementation and management of the IPTV service that TiVo recently acquired from MobiTV. TiVo and NCTC said the solution tied to the new agreement includes a managed pay-TV service, a shared offering that factors in the TiVo Licensed Media Software that enables video subs to navigate live linear, VoD and network DVR services from TiVo's centralized data center.

"This agreement allows a seamless transition for existing MobiTV customers to enjoy the offerings at TiVo and enables NCTC to provide continued value to its members in a time of industry transition," Jeffrey Glahn, SVP of global sales of Xperi, which merged with TiVo in June 2020, said in a statement.

NCTC members and companies interested in opting into the TiVo-MobiTV program or learning more should contact their NCTC or TiVo representative, the organizations said.

In April, NCTC told members that about 90 members of the co-op were using MobiTV at the time, with another 16 pending launch. The organization also suggested then that MobiTV fees might need to increase a minimum of $2 per account to ensure the financial viability of the offering. Meanwhile, companies such as Minerva Networks have approached or have been approached by current and would-be MobiTV partners about making a switch.

Last month, a Delaware bankruptcy court approved TiVo's $18.5 million bid to acquire the assets of MobiTV, a provider of video software and infrastructure that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. TiVo's bid beat an $18 million combined bid from Amino Technologies ($13 million for MobiTV's "going concern" business) and a joint venture of Roku and RPX ($5 million for MobiTV's patent and intellectual property assets).

TiVo reasoned that the play for MobiTV made sense in that the assets will fill critical gaps in TiVo's video tech portfolio and provide operator partners with a smoother path to IPTV upgrades.

"It was clear for us to be successful on a standalone basis, we needed to find growth in our largest market [for the products side of the business], which is pay-TV," Geir Skaaden, executive vice president and chief products and services officer at Xperi, explained in a recent interview.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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