TiVo launches network comedy curation feature, pokes NBCU in the eye

Just three days after Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBCUniversal division announced the launch of a new comedy-focused SVOD service, the conglomerate has been outmaneuvered by TiVo.

The DVR maker on Thursday announced a new feature, Network Comedy Collections, that automatically records select comedy programming from the broadcast networks … such as NBC's Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.  

With TiVo's editorial staff curating which programming gets set to record, the service is available on TiVo Central starting Friday and is available for use on any TiVo DVR, including those deployed through MSO partnerships.

However, TiVo is targeting its brand message for Network Comedy Collections specifically to the cord-eschewing users of its Roamio OTA product. In its press release, for example, TiVo notes, "With access to these collections, especially for TiVo over-the-air (TiVo OTA) users, there is no need to pay for an a la carte streaming service when you can record the same content at the push of a single button."

For good eye-poking measure, TiVo specifically mentions the Tonight Show and SNL in its release. 

During Comcast's Q4 earnings report in February, NBCU CEO Steve Burke caught the attention of investors and media when he said that around 70 percent of the Tonight Show's audience had migrated to immeasurable realms like YouTube. NBCU this week became the latest broadcast network to launch an a la carte streaming service, joining CBS All Access in an attempt to reclaim some of this fragmented audience share.

But TiVo has undermined the whole idea, offering cord cutters the ability to create their own on-demand viewing experiences on Roamio OTA DVRs, paying only one subscription fee ($15 a month) to TiVo.

Adds TiVo CEO Tom Rogers: "In a world of on-demand content, it is important that viewers have the ability to both record programs and access streaming services. Viewers will have to decide what are the most efficient ways to put together the programming menu they really want. With TiVo, recorded programing still plays a vital role in providing viewers the flexibility to access curated programming collections. TiVo leads the way on this front, while also integrating streaming services into the same user experience. TiVo uniquely provides the ability to balance over the air and OTT content."

For more:
- read this TiVo press release

Related links:
Comcast handles its 'Tonight Show' viewing problem with new NBCU comedy SVOD service
TiVo reports 40% rise in MSO subs, but cord-cutting Roamio OTA sales drive revenue
Rough cut: The growing cost of going all-OTT
Frontier to enable cord cutters, market TiVo's Roamio OTA