TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and Verizon Wireless, owner of the nation’s most reliable network, announced today an agreement that will allow Verizon Wireless to debut TiVo Mobile, a new downloadable application that lets TiVo® service subscribers schedule recordings on their TiVo device directly from their Get It Now equipped Verizon Wireless handset.

From what I’ve gathered this is a downloadable Java Applet that gives you a TiVo-style interface on your phone to schedule recordings. I caught a glimpse of this at CES, but I figured it wasn’t public info, and I confirmed that, so I never mentioned it. It actually looked pretty good from what I saw. I’m a little disappointed that it is a Verizon exclusive, since I dumped them for Cingular a few years ago since Verizon took too long to get BlueTooth phones and the data service at the time was lame. They’re a bit better now, but I hope this service is spread to other carriers. And if it is an applet, just making it available for download could allow folks with other devices, like my Treo, to grab it directly.

I don’t think this is earth-shaking by itself, but it is part of TiVo’s broader push to enhance the service. Adding a number of nice features that set them apart from other DVRs and enhance the brand, and brand awareness. Similar to the online scheduling via Yahoo – it doesn’t really offer anything new, compared to TiVo Central Online, but it helps build awareness of TiVo for Yahoo users.

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  • wc

    The report I read (I forget where now, possibly Engadget or Gizmodo) said that the service was exclusive to Verizon for the first couple months and then will extend to other services. It will not be free though. It will be $5/month in addition to your normal TiVo fees.

  • wc
  • smashedagainst

    Here are some thoughts about verizon and exclusivity…

    TiVo just got in bed with Yahoo!
    Yahoo! and SBC (california Telecom) were long ago in bed with each other…
    AT&T just bought out SBC.

    Two questions arise:
    1- Did AT&T keep that alliance with Yahoo! that SBC had?
    2- What wireless provider is AT&T married to? If AT&T is not together with Verizon then i’d think there’s room for growth.

  • wc

    AT&T kept the alliance with Yahoo! We’re seeing ads for AT&T Yahoo! DSL in the area. AT&T is married to Cingular wireless since Cingular is a joint venture of the former SBC (Now AT&T and BellSouth, who AT&T just made a bid to acquire)

  • megazone

    The ‘New AT&T’ – the merged SBC & AT&T – is linked to Cingular.

  • megazone

    Yeah, kind of weird how things come full circle.

    Not too long ago Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless, which spun off of AT&T in 2001. Now SBC just acquired AT&T, and took the AT&T name, is one of the companies controlling Cingular – and looking to acquire BellSouth, one of the other baby bells, the other parent. Ma Bell rises again. :-) All the Baby Bells are being combined – NY Tel and New England Tell became NYNEX, merging with others into Bell Atlantic, which merged with GTE (never a Baby Bell, GTE was an independent phone company outside of AT&T even way back) into Verizon, now Verizon sucked up MCI.

    AT&T’s move on BellSouth is putting pressure on Verizon to acquire someone – possibly Qwest or AllTel.

    Sprint is one of the losers here, as AT&T and Verizon expand, Sprint is left with few options. They already picked up Nextel, but there aren’t many other merger or acquisition options for them to follow the same path as AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile doesn’t make much sense, since their all GSM and Sprint and Verizon Wireless are CDMA – if anyone were to suck up T-Mobile it’d be Cingular (also GSM). Not many baby bells left to acquire, and now that the bigger baby bells have each picked up a long distance backbone carrier (SBC with AT&T and Verizon with MCI), they don’t have much need for another – Sprint.

    The mergers have been largely driven by falling fortunes. For the longest time telcos were *it*. Growing demand, global networks. But now wireless, VOIP, data services, etc, are the big growth areas. Conventional voice services are declining. And telcos were ill-prepared to compete with cable companies for data services, so it is taking major outlays for new equipment, impacting the bottom line.

    Telcos are no longer competing with just other telcos – they have cable and satellite companies to compete with, and increasingly terrestrial wireless broadband services. And the looming threat of data-over-powerline from the electric companies. Where there are data services, there is the capability of providing voice.

  • wc

    As long as there’s 2 companies (Verizon and AT&T) I doubt the regulators will even bat an eye at any of the possible mergers.

    One thing I read on a blog somewhere was a restriction regulators may put on AT&T to allow the BellSouth purchase to go forward would be to split off Cingular into a separate company.

    Qwest was one of the bidders in the MCI deal, and was screwed by the MCI shareholders who accepted a lesser deal to go over to Verizon. If anyone acquires Qwest, I doubt it’ll be Verizon since there is no love lost there.

  • megazone

    I don’t blame the MCI shareholders at all. The Verizon deal had a lower dollar value, but it was better for investors. Qwest is still in very rocky shape with crushing debt and poor business, Verizon is in much better shape so it was a lot more stable as a merger partner. Qwest’s increasing bids were really desperation, they saw the merger as a lifeline – they could use MCI to help stay afloat.

  • monkey42


    Not worth it to me. If they had it around $1-$2 I’d be all over it.