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TiVo Adds Internet Video Option

Alviso, Calif. — TiVo announced an agreement with Internet-video distributor Brightcove to enable TiVo subscribers to download and watch Internet-carried video programming through select TiVo DVRs.

Brightcove, based in Cambridge, Mass., said it plans to initially offer video from six to 12 programmers in June. Programming content was not disclosed.

Brightcover content, which will be made available free of charge to users, will be accessible to “all broadband connected TiVo DVRs,” a TiVo spokesman said. This would include all new Series 2 DVRs with direct broadband connections as well as older Series 2 models connected to wired or Wi-Fi networks.

The spokesman said TiVo currently lists more than 400,000 broadband connected subscribers.

Brightcove offers producers of Internet-carried video a system for publishing and distributing that content to end users. Producers working with Brightcove include Dow Jones, The New York Times, Oxygen Network and SmartMoney/Hearst.

TiVo will use the added capability as a means of differentiating its DVR equipment and service from competing DVRs now being distributed by cable and satellite companies.

In other announcements, TiVo introduced a new ad search function, called “TiVo Product Watch,” which enables TiVo subscribers to search for ads covering products they may be interested in purchasing. Selected advertising, ranging from one minute to 60 minutes in length, will be delivered automatically to the “Now Playing” section of the DVR’s menu.

The capability will offer advertisers a new method of getting ads to the most valuable viewers. Available advertising spans five different product categories including automotive, entertainment, financial, lifestyles, and travel and leisure.

TiVo said that 70 advertisers and 100 leading brands are participating in the Product Watch launch, with General Motors, Kraft Foods, Lending Tree and Sony Pictures among the list of premium advertisers. Typical content could include cooking demonstrations, movie trailers and infomercials.

Media buying agencies Starcom MediaVest Group, MindShare, Cmedia, BrightLine Partners, Interpublic Group, OMD, and The Richards Group are currently working with TiVo to help recruit advertisers and develop cost per download models.