TiVo's Rogers to MSOs: Let them cut the cord and profit on video through the Roamio OTA

TiVO CEO Tom Rogers encouraged multi-system operators (MSOs) to cede their video businesses to cord-cutting and profit on TV through broadband services.

Speaking at the Bernstein Future of Media Summit, Rogers made a case for the cable industry's adoption of TiVo's Roamio OTA, the so-called "cord-cutting DVR," which is designed to exclusively tune and record free over-the-air broadcast TV stations.

TiVo closed the first quarter with 4.81 million subscriptions through MSO partnership, a business that now dwarfs the company's retail endeavors. To date, the OTA has been seen as a fledgling--but growing--direct-to-consumer hedge for TiVo. But Rogers made the case that cable companies should begin to cede their video businesses--and the high programming costs that entails--to cord-cutting. TV services, he said, are best left to the burgeoning broadband side of MSO businesses.

"When I talk about the opportunity for a TiVo OTA or the cord-cutter, that isn't just a retail proposition," Rogers said. "That is a product that we have done deals with operators, and we are in discussions with other operators about.

"Because they are sitting there saying, 'Well, we know they're going to be growing broadband only subs. And do we want to have no relationship with these subscribers when it comes to video?'" Rogers added. "Most of them say they'd like to continue to figure out how to serve the needs of that subscriber."

TiVo had its best quarterly growth for its retail sector in eight years in Q1, with sales of the Roamio OTA spearheading net additions of 39,000 retail subs.

Meanwhile, executives for Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Cable One have publicly stated recently that video services are in decline and that their future growth rests in broadband and related connectivity businesses.

For more:
- listen to this webcast
- read this Reuters transcript
- read this Variety story

Related articles:
TiVo rolls out new version of its MSO web portal to users of its retail set-tops
TiVo adds 285K subs in Q1, extends MSO reach to 4.81M
Tivo's $27.5M acquisition of Cubiware boosts its international presence

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