TiVo Enters Bundling Deal with Earthlink

TiVo and Earthlink have announced an agreement to offer bundled television and Internet services via TiVo’s standalone Series2 Dual-Tuner DVR and Earthlink-braded dial-up, DSL, or digital voice offerings. The offerings should be available later this year, although no pricing details have been announced by the companies.

According to TiVo, subscribers to Earthlink-bundled services will be able to access value-added TiVo services, like access to Amazon Unbox (which just went “life” yesterday) and other broadband video offerings, along with TiVo’s traditional services including Season Pass subscriptions, WishList searches, online scheduling features, TiVo KidZone, and TiVoToGo transfers to put recorded media on portable devices.

“EarthLink is pleased to offer our customers the opportunity to enhance their online and television experience through the TiVo service,” said Gary Sonnier, Earthlink’s VP of Consumer Access Products, in a statement. “This combined offering not only provides customers the simplicity and value of a bundle, but also provides seamless access to the growing portfolio of content and services that are being delivered via the Internet, directly to the living room.”

Earthlink is seeing as benefitting from the deal by being able to offer an industry leading DVR as part of entertainment bundle offerings; increasingly, consumers seem to be looking to product offerings which combine some or all of television, broadband, voice, and mobile services, although many area frustrated by DVR solutions offered by cable and satellite operators. By going with TiVo, Earthlink gets to being a “best-of-class” DVR offering to its entertainment bundles, which may help it compete against those cable and satellite franchises.

For TiVo, the deal represents a move to get past its standalone origins: although the company benefitted tremendously from a past partnership with DirecTV (and is currently working with cable giants Cox and Comcast), the company has struggled against competition from cable and satellite companies offering non-TiVo DVR solutions to their customers, many of whom (in the case of cable companies) are effectively captive to franchise agreements. Cox and Comcast have said they plan to introduce TiVo bundles later in 2007.

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