Legal Settlements Rocketed TiVo's Revs


TiVo, the maker of DVRs and advanced television platforms for pay-TV operators, reported net income of nearly $7.2 million for the fourth quarter on a 19% net revenue gain to $66.5 million.

For the full year, the company posted net income of nearly $102.2 million versus an $84.5 million loss for the prior-year period, on a 9% net revenue gain to $238.2 million.

Contributing to the solid gains were two lucrative legal settlements over DVR patent disputes that netted the company more than $800 million, including a $600 million settlement with satellite TV operator Dish Network and a minimum $215 million settlement with AT&T. 

The company has at least one more major patent infringement suit pending, against Verizon. TiVo officials indicated Thursday that a trial in that case is likely to start in late 2012.



Business continues to grow as it licenses its DVR and advanced TV platforms to pay TV providers in the U.S and abroad. Total net subscriptions increased by 234,000 in the fourth quarter -- the highest quarterly gain in almost six years, the company said.

TiVo now has license deals with Comcast, DirecTV, RCN, Grande, Charter, Suddenlink, the UK’s Virgin Media, and Spain’s Ono. Total subscriptions were up about 11% for the year, to 2.3 million. Currently, its subscriptions account for “under 10%” of the total subscriber count of the companies it has licensing agreements with, said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers, suggesting that TiVo has a lot of growth potential with existing clients.

The company recently completed a deal with AT&T U-Verse to access the service’s set-top-box viewing data for TiVo’s advertising research and measurement business. Rogers noted that some critics wanted the company to add households with non-TiVo boxes to its research database, and that the AT&T deal should help address the concerns of those critics.

TiVo also recently did a deal with set-top-box maker Pace, enabling its boxes to access TiVo services. Thus, the Pace agreement could also potentially help increase subscriptions, Rogers said.

Later this year, TiVo also plans to unveil a new Internet-based box enabling subscribers to sync TiVo with second-screen devices, enhancing what the company calls its “whole home solution.”

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