TiVo seems to be off to a good start with ONO in Spain. While it has only has a ‘soft launch’ starting in October in Barcelona and Madrid, the initial response has been strong. ONO reports they’ve already had over 32,000 TV customers pre-register for the service, which will be expanded to other service areas in the coming months. ONO’s TiVo service in Spain is very similar to Virgin Media’s TiVo service in the UK. Both are fiber-delivered cable systems, and ONO is even using the same Cisco STB HW as Virgin. Obviously the software has been localized for the Spanish market.
Virgin in the UK, ONO in Spain, RCN, Suddenlink, and Grande Communications distributing TiVo and Charter just starting TiVo deployments in the US, other deals still in process – this is why MSO deals are of increasing importance to the future of TiVo, and the retail market relatively less important. I don’t think TiVo will pull out of retail or anything so drastic, but I do expect that future retail hardware will, like the Elite, most likely be designs primarily tailored for MSOs and repurposed for retail. Retail serves as a bit of a development lab, giving TiVo freedom to try new things or offer services that they may not be able to offer through MSOs – like Netflix, for example. But if these MSO deals are successful they will be driving the bulk of TiVo’s business, and will rightfully be their primary focus.
Via Broadband TV News.