Australian retailer Harvey Norman has confirmed a July 1st launch for TiVo in Australia, according to Current. It looks like Harvey Norman will have a three month exclusive on TiVo distribution, starting July 1st. The exclusivity arrangement was first broken by The Australian Financial Review, which reported that the release would be ‘mid-July’. However, Harvey Norman executive director, David Ackery, told Current that the launch date would be July 1. The exclusivity agreement will make them the only Australian source of TiVo for the Olympics, for which Seven Network has the Australian broadcast. The price is rumored to be AUD$700, though Ackery declined to confirm the rumors, saying that details will be released with the July 1st launch. The AFR also had some details on the deal between Seven Network and TiVo:
The original agreement required Seven to pay TiVo a fee for each subscriber it signed. Under the new deal, which was finalised in April, TiVo will be paid a royalty based on how many recorders are sold here.
TiVo’s main competition in Australia will be the Foxtel iQ2 DVR, which retails for AUD$200 and carries a monthly AUD$10 subscription fee. If the AUD$700 price and no monthly fee rumors for the TiVo are true, that would mean a 50 month break-even compared to the iQ2. Which the TiVo is being pitched as a premium product it remains to be seen how it will fare in the Australian market. AFR says Foxtel has a subscriber base of 1.4 million, 350,000 of which have picked up the original iQ DVR, and 15,000 which have picked up the newer iQ2.
I guess we’ll see in a week what all of the details are with regard to pricing and features.
EDIT: The Sydney Morning Herald has also picked up the story, and they have a few more details. One thing the AFR didn’t mention, the iQ2 costs AUD$10-15 on top of the standard Foxtel subscription (Foxtel is a Pay TV service), which runs AUD$37.95 up to AUD$105.95 a month, depending on the level of service. TiVo, on the other hand, will work with the free-to-air programs so there is no additional cost. That does make quite a big different in the break-even point between the two products.