TiVo vs. Comcast PR: The Gloves are Coming Off

Media Guerrilla: TiVo vs. Comcast PR: The Gloves are Coming Off Media Guerrilla points us to a post at Engadget that has TiVo’s PR firm, OutCast Communications, pitching bad news on one of their competitors, Comcast.

While pitching bad news might be considered bad taste by some, Engadget Editor Peter Rojas writes that he has a “funny feeling that the gloves are about to come off.”

The TiVo/Comcast story has been written about before and the New York Times printed a story a while back quoting unnamed sources as saying that a TiVo Comcast deal fell apart after TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay demanded more money and more control over the Comcast/TiVo box. Ironically, Ramsay came out shortly thereafter in an interview with USA Today and made it sound like everything was rosy with Comcast:

“Q: How close did you and Comcast get?

A: Well, we’re still talking. We’re in discussions with cable companies. We have a variety of offerings for them. These kinds of deals can take months, years to develop because they have great strategic importance for both companies. We’re committed to developing those relationships no matter how long they take. If we thought the outcome was futile, we wouldn’t be doing it. There’s been no pulling back. In fact, it’s accelerating.”

It’s ironic to see, if it’s true, TiVo’s PR firm trashing Comcast to Engadget while at the same time pursuing a relationship with Comcast.

Of course then there is the letter that TiVo wrote to the FCC on January 18th complaining about Comcast. This letter would also seem to suggest a contentious relationship between the two companies:

“Cable’s objective of controlling the look, feel, and operation of all set-top boxes, whether leased or purchased, was clearly articulated last week at the Smith Barney Citigroup Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications conference in Arizona. According to news reports, Comcast’s CEO is quoted as saying: “As we move more and more into an Internet-type feeling on your television in a digital world …we know that the navigation system is critical. And whether it’s video navigation with lots of screens and multiple choices … or whether it’s someday voice navigation, we want to be in control of the consumer’s experience, not be using a third party.”

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