TiVo set for a turnaround? New deals may provide the spark

Seemingly ever-floundering TiVo (TIVO.O) may experience a business resurgence based on a number of smaller deals it's been inking with cable service providers. The DVR box maker has signed deals with RCN (Nasdaq: RCNI) and Suddenlink in the U.S., Virgin Media in the U.K. and Ono in Spain. Additionally, it has an agreement with Cox Communications and Best Buy for a retail play.

Combined, the small deals make TiVo less dependent on a few big operators (it has deals with DirecTV [Nasdaq: DTV] and Comcast [Nasdaq: CMCSA] that have been sluggish, at best) and could help spread the company's name among more potential buyers. It helps that RCN will market the boxes exclusively to its 310,000 customers and Suddenlink will combine it with a whole home system.

To be fair, the road ahead is hardly paved with gold bricks. TiVo is still "a brand without a good business model," according to Craig-Hallum Capital financial analyst Mark Argento, speaking to the San Jose Mercury News and there is growing competition from the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) which have better names and better subscriber access for their proposed Internet TV ventures. TiVo's best bet there is that it is allied cable and could help service providers battle these new threats.

In related news, TiVo has and Samsung, a consumer electronics vendor with its eyes on breaking into the cable business, have "teamed to develop an advanced, TiVo-ready high definition" set-top box for digital video broadcasting. Since it's not a cable play-yet-this could also help TiVo's market presence.

For more:
- see this article
- and this news release

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