Cogeco’s Atlantic has no plans to ditch TiVo for Comcast’s X1, analysts report

Cogeco's Atlantic Broadband operates in parts of the Eastern United States.

Cogeco is content with its TiVo deal and doesn’t have any plans to replace the platform with Comcast’s X1, according to an analyst report citing company officials.

“Management believes their TiVo platform remains ahead of the competition, and they currently do not see the need to upgrade/migrate to another video platform (e.g. X1),” Barclays wrote in a report issued this morning, noting that the company’s “risk profile” has improved due to its relatively stable performance and outlook in the U.S. cable market.

Cogeco’s position on X1 is notable considering other Canadian operators are moving forward with licensing deals with Comcast that allow them to sell set-top boxes based on Comcast’s X1 platform. Indeed, Canada’s Shaw Communications just this week announced the deployment of its licensed version of Comcast’s X1 video platform, which it calls BlueSky TV.

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“We are proud to be the first in Canada to pioneer Comcast’s ground-breaking technology and to be their first international partner,” Shaw CEO Brad Shaw said in a statement.

Shaw follows Cox Communications, which has already begun deploying its white label version of X1 in the U.S., which it calls “Contour.” Canada’s Rogers Communications announced last month that it is also licensing the X1 platform.

For its part, TiVo continues to invest in its pay-TV platform in order to retain customers like Cogeco. The company last week showed off its radically reconfigured user interface, which has been operating under the code name “Project Hydra.” TiVo first announced the UX overhaul in September. The new UX changes everything, right down to the TiVo’s traditional blue backdrop, which is now opaque with translucent images of whatever programming is relevant at the time.

In the third quarter, TiVo reported that its service provider revenues raised 34% to $126 million, primarily due to the company’s new deal with Dish Network.

And the company hopes to grow that business: “We will also look to add new service provider customers, who could benefit from TiVo products and expect to announce additional service provider customers in 2017,” CEO Tom Carson said during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the event.

Cogeco Communications is the 8th largest cable operator in North America and the 12th largest in the United States. In the U.S., it operates under the Atlantic Broadband name in western Pennsylvania, south Florida, Maryland/Delaware, South Carolina and eastern Connecticut.

“Management aims to further expand their 1 Gbps broadband footprint through the year (currently in Connecticut, Burlington, Oakville). We believe the Canadian Cable business is showing resilience to heightened competition, while the US Cable business continues to enjoy healthy growth in a benign competitive environment. We have not made significant changes to our estimates,” the Barclays analysts added.

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