TiVo pushes for Charter, Liberty Global deployments

After reporting its best quarterly earnings period ever, TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) executives said Tuesday that they hope to see the company's DVR software deployed by two of the industry's biggest cable providers--Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR).

While Charter has stopped offering subscribers the option of leasing TiVo DVRs, the MSO has said it is considering using TiVo software to power a new cloud-based DVR service that it is developing.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers told analysts that it's up to Charter to detail its deployment plans but noted that TiVo is developing solutions which could work in various distribution technologies including IPTV and video gateways. Alaskan cable operator GCI recently deployed gateways from Pace (LSE: PIC) which are powered by TiVo software.

Liberty Global's Virgin Media subsidiary reported that it had installed 1.7 million TiVo DVRs in subscriber homes by the end of the second quarter, an increase of 720,000 in the last year. TiVo executives are looking to use Virgin's success with their DVRs to convince other cable operators to deploy its set-tops and/or DVR software. "Obviously, we hope that success in the U.K. will breed opportunities elsewhere, whether it's with Liberty or anyone else that's obviously a highly visible deployment for us, but nothing specific to speak of," CFO Naveen Chopra told analysts Tuesday.

Liberty Global founder John Malone picked up four seats on Charter's board after his Liberty Media (Nasdaq: LMCA) acquired a 27 percent stake in the MSO earlier this year. The performance Liberty Global has seen through Virgin's deployment of TiVo DVRs could bode well for TiVo if Malone succeeds in helping Charter acquire other cable MSOs. But Rogers emphasized that the talks TiVo is having with Charter and Liberty are separate.

"We have very separate discussions going with both of them of a very detailed nature, but they are very much separate companies," Rogers said.

TiVo posted a net profit of $268.9 million ($1.96 per share) in the quarter, compared to a loss of $27.7 million (23 cents per share) this time last year. It posted about $100 million in revenue, up 53 percent from last year.

For more:
- see the earnings release
- see the transcript from the earnings call
the Wall Street Journal has this story (sub. req.)

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