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Cox To Offer TiVo Service

Atlanta – Multi-system cable operator Cox Communications has entered an agreement with digital video recorder (DVR) service provider TiVo, making TiVo’s DVR and interactive advertising services available for download to existing Cox DVRs.

Under the agreement, TiVo will customize its cable software for deployment on compatible Cox DVR set-top-boxes. A company spokesperson could not disclose the number of subscribers currently using such equipment.

The spokesperson said “there will be an incremental charge” for the TiVo service on top of the $9.95 monthly fee the cable operator currently charges for the existing DVR service. The exact amount has not been set, he said, but it is likely to range between $3 and $5 extra.

TiVo’s downloadable software will allow Cox to deliver the service in Cox subscriber homes without replacing existing DVR boxes and without the need for a special in-home installation. The companies plan to offer subscribers who pick up the TiVo option a special remote designed to work with the TiVo interface, the Cox spokesperson said.

Consumer electronics retailers who are currently partnered with the MSO to sell Cox services to customers will have the option of stepping potential new DVR customers to the Cox TiVo service, the spokesperson said.

Cox DVR customers who choose the upgrade option will receive the TiVo user interface as well as new innovations that link the capabilities enabled by Cox’s broadband network, including on-demand and high-definition service, with such TiVo features as Season Pass recordings, WishList searches and the recently announced TiVo KidZone.

In addition, Cox subscribers with HD-capable DVRs will be among the first TiVo users with the ability to record and play high-definition programming, a Cox spokesman said.

The service is expected to launch in select Cox markets using Motorola DVR equipment in the first half of 2007, Cox said. A version of the software for Cox subscribers using Scientific Atlanta equipment will follow after that. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“By combining Cox’s marketing prowess and top-quality customer service with TiVo’s superior technology and product offerings, we have unleashed a highly scalable way of delivering the best television viewing experience to its customers,” said Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO.

Cox, which with 5.9 million subscribers is the fourth-largest cable company, becomes the second cable MSO to make TiVo services available to its subscribers. TiVo services are also available as an upgrade option to certain Comcast subscribers.

TiVo has also offered its DVR service to DirecTV customers, but that agreement expired after News Corp. gained control of the satellite TV operator and began implementing DVR technologies developed by one of its own companies. TiVo continues to offer service and maintenance to DirecTV TiVo subscribers.

TiVo also recently sued satellite TV operator EchoStar. A decision is pending on whether or not the company’s DISH network will have to shut down service to DVRs it sells that allegedly infringe on TiVo patents.