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TiVo Reports Q4 2007 Loss

6 Mar, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Digital video company TiVo March 5 reported a net loss of more than $6 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, a better showing than the nearly $20 million the company lost during the same period last year.

“This was a strong quarter and year for TiVo as we significantly improved our financial profile and made tremendous progress on the many elements driving our business forward,” said TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers. “Our progress can be especially noted with our financial results for the full year, as we neared break-even for the year … exceeding our goals.

“These results really underscore the success of our strategy to effectively manage our TiVo-owned business in a way that does not cloud the enthusiasm for the many long-term growth drivers we have in place.”

A combination of things spell good news for TiVo's future, Rogers said.

The company has won a series of recent court battles against Dish Network Corp., regarding patent violations by the EchoStar satellite service. The U.S. federal court of appeals this year upheld an earlier ruling that Dish owed TiVo nearly $100 million for digital video recorder software patent violations.

“We are very excited about this victory, as it more significantly solidifies the strength of our intellectual property,” Rogers said.

Additionally, the company is focusing less on selling its own set-tops, instead licensing its software to satellite and cable operators.

“In terms of our mass distribution strategy, we continue to focus on increasing subscriptions through significant partnerships with leading MSOs (multiple system operators) in the U.S. and internationally,” Rogers said. “On that front, the TiVo service on Comcast is now operational in New England, Comcast's largest market with almost two million subscribers. Comcast is marketing the services to these subscribers and we expect marketing of the product to increase as Comcast gains greater experience with the offering.”

He added that TiVo's service is being tested in Cox Communications' New England market.

“It is important to note that it is difficult to compare this year's holiday results with those from fiscal 2007,” Rogers said. “Compared to last year, we have pulled back our marketing spending substantially, we have significantly reduced our hardware subsidy, and our main offering is now our $299 TiVo HD box versus the free standard-definition offer that was our focus during last year's holiday season.”

TiVo added nearly 35,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, but lost more than 120,000 subscribers for all of 2007. It currently has nearly 4 million users.

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