TiVo remains on the fence about Comcast-TWC deal

The sides are lining up on whether to support or oppose the proposed merger between Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), with Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) coming out against the merger. The American Cable Association isn't necessarily against the merger but it is mulling provisions to make sure its members aren't disadvantaged. And TiVo is still mulling its position on the merger--but it does want the FCC to pursue rules that would establish a successor to the disparaged CableCARD.

TiVo did give Comcast some praise for its support of the CableCARD. Comcast doesn't lease TiVo boxes but it has integrated its VOD service with TiVo DVRs in some markets. At the same time, TiVo has no direct deals with Time Warner Cable, but settled its pending litigation with the company last June.

In a meeting with the FCC, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers reiterated TiVo's assertion that CableCARD rules should remain until a successor standard is adopted. But the NCTA has repeatedly asked the FCC to end the set-top ban, arguing that the massive number of CableCARDs they have been deployed assures common reliance. 

As of last week, the nation's top nine operators have deployed 47 million of the security modules in set-tops, while only 616,000 have been sold at retail, including those installed in TiVo boxes.

For more:
- see this Multichannel article
- see this Wired article

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