More on TiVo in Australia

There is a little more on plans for TiVo in Australia from Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. They reiterate that Seven Network plans to launch the TiVo in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics, which Seven will air in Australia. Seven is also negotiating with other networks to bring them into the TiVo platform.

The service will start out with basic functions, allowing subscribers to record programs, download content from websites selected by Seven and its digital partner, Yahoo!, play music and show photos as well as use a feature that will select programs based on a customer’s viewing history and favourite shows. Users will also be able to pause viewing, watch extended ads, and order brochures.

[Seven's director of TiVo, Mark] Hughes said more features would be added over time, with the initial offering just a “toe in the water compared to where we will be in 12 to 18 months”. They could include video on demand, more interactive services and the ability to move recorded programs onto portable devices such as an iPod. The launch date “will be sometime before the end of next year, but obviously the Olympics is a key event for us [Seven has the broadcasting rights] and we are very focused … on getting the platform out there”.

Seven plans to sell the TiVo HD-based unit for AUD$500 to $600 with subscriptions handled through Engin. Hughes said the hope is for TiVo to garner 25% of the expected 2 million unit Australian DVR market over the next five years. And I like the sound of this:

Seven is talking to other networks about allowing them to add various features such as extra program material or interactive features, with the possibility of sharing revenue. For example, Channel Ten viewers could vote for their favourite Australian Idol stars through the TiVo box.

I’d love to see some of that Interactive TV-style functionality added to the US TiVos as well.

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  • HDTiVo

    What more do you make of this?

    It sounds like TTG and TiVoCast are coming 12-18 months later, and that some of the ad technology TiVo already has and is working on in the US will be adopted – perhaps with some specific local technical and cultural modifications.

  • megazone

    Sounds logical – though I don’t know that TTG or TiVoCast will take that long to show up there. It isn’t like they’d need some major changes or anything. So they could be enabled just as soon as Seven Network wants them to be.

    And I fully expect ads to be part of the deal – that’s one of the differentiators TiVo has to sell their platform to networks.