TiVo To Have No Subscription Fees, In Australia

A few weeks ago I reported the news that Seven Network would ‘slash’ the planned AUD$10-12 subscription fee for TiVo service, in the face of increasing competition from Freeview and push-back from retailers.

However, due to feedback from retailers such as Harvey Norman, they’ll be dropping the monthly subscription fee. Seven had planned to charge AUD$10-$12 per month, but now will be reportedly ’slashing’ that – though the new fee hasn’t been announced.

Well, now the new price has been announced – AUD$0. That’s right, TiVo will not carry a subscription fee down under. Basically the is the equivalent to selling the TiVo with a bundled product lifetime subscription. This according to the Sydney Morning Herald:

THE Seven Media Group will launch its TiVo digital video recorder in July after a strategic overhaul that includes a surprise move to scrap a planned monthly subscription fee for the broadband-enabled service.

Before you pack up and head to Australia to take advantage of the free TiVo service, note that the box is expected to sell for around AUD$500. And that’s about USD$482.21 right now. Though that is better than the US$699 (MSRP) for a TiVo HD with product lifetime, which is the rough equivalent, it isn’t a huge savings.

Seven Network would not confirm the July launch date, but they’ve been clear that they want it available in time for users to be up and running for the Olympics – which Seven is airing in Australia. Nine and Ten networks have also signed deals with Seven Network for their channels’ guide data to be included in the TiVo EPG. And deals are being finalized with up to six retailers to carry the box.

It sounds like Australians will get a solid product:

Mr Spence said TiVo’s initial focus on an electronic program guide and the ease of recording TV programs would expand considerably by the end of the year to include online TV content and broader interactive services.

“That’s when we will start to see more things obtained off the internet,” he said.

“The main thing is to get TiVo launched for the Olympics.”

In the US, TiVo offers music and movie downloads, sharing of digital photo libraries with personal computers and access to social networking sites and online video channels.

The head of Seven’s hybrid TV services, Mark Hughes, said TiVo Australia’s line-up would match that offered in the US.

Later this year TiVo is adding YouTube to the US TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD boxes (the Australian box is based on the TiVo HD), which means enabling MPEG-4/H.264 decoding. It sounds to me like that capability will be finding its way to Australia.

It will be interesting to see how the up-front pricing works for Seven and TiVo. In the US sales have favored lower up-front pricing with monthly fees, but Australia is a different market with potentially different trends.

(Dave Zatz twittered about his post just before my Google alert twigged me to the article.)

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
This entry was posted in TiVo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.thenewsbeforethenews.com James Webster

    As an Aussie (well, British-born, Australian-schooled, and now living back in the UK) I have to suggest that there might be a sting in the tail… it wouldn’t surprise me if all the TiVo Desktop goodness (for video podcast subscription, etc) was severely locked down or disabled. If there’s one thing the Australian media & telecommunications landscape loves, its a walled garden.

    Still, here’s hoping that the availability of DVB-T version means that we might see it here in the UK!