DVR pioneer TiVo and regional cable operator Cox Communications have announced a partnership whereby Cox video-on-demand services will be accessible to Cox subscribers via TiVo set-top boxes. Although TiVo has explored software partnerships with operators like Comcast, the deal marks the first time a cable operator and third-party retail DVR have partnered to provide on-demand content.
The service will be available to Cox cable subscribers using TiVo Premiere set-top boxes; subscribers will need a CableCARD to tap into Cox services. As part of the agreement, Cox will promote the Tivo Premiere set-top box to its subscribers (including at retailers like Best Buy and its own advertising). Cox will also provide free installation of TiVo Premiere set-top boxes, even if they’re purchased through third parties or from TiVo. Current TiVo Premiere owners will also be able to tap into the service.
Cox Communications service areas include some major U.S. markets like San Diego and Las Vegas.
“We recognize that consumers are attracted to a growing range of devices that enable them to access broadband content and interactive capabilities,” said Cox Communications president Pat Esser, in a statement. “With TiVo Premiere, Cox is providing consumers even more choice. Our subscribers will not only have access to TiVo’s user experience but Cox’s robust Advanced TV offering including On Demand service.”
The agreement could mark a major shift for TiVo. Despite pioneering the DVR market, the company has struggled to attract customers since cable and satellite operators quickly deployed their own service-specific DVR solutions to their subscribers. Although many of those solutions lack the elegance and polish of TiVo, they often function well enough that most consumers aren’t tempted to switch to a third party DVR. By partnering directly with a cable operator—and enabling operator-specific services on its devices—TiVo can compete more directly with providers’ set-top box offerings.
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