Joining RCN and Suddenlink, who are already distributing TiVo hardware to customers, and Charter Communications, who has a deal to begin doing so later this year, small Texas cable MSO Grande Communications has selected the TiVo Premiere family of hardware to distribute to their customers. The key take away amidst the press release fluff is:
Scheduled to launch later this year, TiVo Premiere from Grande will bring together traditional television, Internet-delivered video and interactive applications as well as Grande’s Video on Demand offerings, in one elegant user interface. The products offered by Grande will be based on TiVo’s industry-leading family of whole home and multi-room products.
The fact that ‘whole home’ and ‘multi-room’ are mentioned, as they have been in the past in similar MSO announcements, tells me this deal involves the forthcoming TiVo Premiere Q/Elite and the TiVo Preview non-DVR streaming box, as well as likely the TiVo Premiere itself. Multi-room streaming is known to be in the works and is generally expected to street this fall. This isn’t a huge deal for TiVo, Grande only serves the communities of Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Midland, Odessa, San Antonio, San Marcos and Waco in Texas and they don’t even rank on the list of the top 25 MVPDs in the US. According to their website they server ‘over 140,000 customers’, but that encompasses cable, broadband, and phone users. But it is still a win, and they all count.
The more small MSOs TiVo can pull into the fold, the more they can build their user base piece by piece – and the more attention they get from the larger MSOs. The smaller operators have less heavy lifting to do to adopt new technology, and they tend to be less risk averse. So they serve as a proving ground which helps give the larger MSOs more confidence in TiVo’s solution, and will hopefully lead to more, and larger, deals.
Update: Later today TiVo released their 2Q2012 financial results which mentioned more details on this deal:
To that end, we announced earlier today a distribution agreement with Grande Communications, a broadband communications company based in the Southwest U.S. with about 150,000 video subscribers. Going forward, TiVo will be the exclusive provider of DVRs and whole home solutions for Grande. We expect Grande’s initial launch to begin in October. It’s worth noting that the speed with which we are able to launch with Grande is a great example of how our recent R&D investments enable us to bring on new customers with limited incremental cost to TiVo and the operator and then to move with great speed.