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August 30, 2006

A Pyrrhic Victory for Tivo?

posted by Robson Lee at 8/30/2006 06:04:00 PM
While I love my Tivo, its legal victory over Echostar concerning a "time-warping" patent is just the first step on the road to profitability for Tivo. It reported a net loss of 7 cents a share, beating Wall Street expectations of a 14 cent loss, as a result of legal costs associated with the patent dispute.

Anyone who has used Tivo before is familar with its intuitive user interface and helpful suggestions feature. That's what Tivo is counting on in signing deals with Cox and in 2005 Comcast that will allow cable subscribers to pay an additional $10 a month for using Tivo software on their DVRs. The deal with Comcast 2 years ago still hasn't borne fruit as Comcast customers are still unable to use the service. Similarly, the Cox deal won't start until early 2007. Suspicious minds might think that the cable companies are just making peace offerings while secretly waiting for Tivo to finally go bankrupt so they can go on a discount patent shopping spree. Still, they might be waiting a long time since Tivo's stock has done well over the past year, almost doubling to $8.

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