Cox Communications and TiVo Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, Is a Cox Communications and TiVo Deal Looming?

Cox is asking a lot of questions about TiVo… – TiVo Community: “As you may or may not know, Cox offers DVR service. The DVR is built into the Cox digital receiver box and is operated using a Cox digital service remote control. While Cox currently offers its own DVR service, the Cox DVR may soon be powered by TiVo, and include the features that TiVo owners have come to expect.” — from a Cox Cable survey to their customers.

According to a thread at TiVo Community Forum, Cox Communications is out surveying their customers asking an awful lot of questions about TiVo including the question above which references that the Cox DVR may soon be powered by TiVo. You can see a list of the relevant TiVo related questions here.

Although TiVo has a relationship set with Comcast, there are no other major cable relationships at present. Cox would be a big deal. TiVo has said in the past that they are pursuing additional cable relationships and has put quite a bit of emphasis within the company on the technolgoy to run the TiVo/Comcast deal. TiVo does have a deal with DirecTV for servicing their TiVo DirecTV boxes. They are also currently running a test partnership with CableVision and have a deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), a purchasing organization that represents over 1,000 independent cable operators, which collectively serve around 14 million subscribers.

Earlier this year I was able to have lunch with TiVo senior manager Stephen Mack where we talked about TiVo strategy and where they were headed. One point that Mack made at our lunch was that the reason why TiVo was not interested in being bought or in exclusive partnerships was that by remaining independent they were able to serve more different companies in the marketplace. Certainly the continued expansion of these cable agreements would fall into this type of a strategy.

Major players still remaining for TiVo to pursue if they signed a deal with Cox could include TimeWarner, Charter Communications and the Dish Network. In Dish’s case sometimes an unwilling groom is best brought to the wedding with a shotgun.

Between the current partnerships and a potential Cox relationship this could potentially give TiVo access to more than 64 million subscribers. That’s a lot of monkeys to sell bananas to.

It would seem logical to replicate the Comcast/TiVo technology with other cable providers providing additional licensing revenue for TiVo.

To my knowledge no public information has come out on a Cox/TiVo partnership yet, but it sounds like it just may be a matter of time before you see a Cox/TiVo deal — as they say in the TV business, you may just need to stay tuned for their next episode.

Cox currently has almost seven million customers. Over the last six months they’ve annonced additional aquistions and partnerships that will add another three million subscribers.

From Wikipedia on Cox Enterprises: “Cox Enterprises is the successor to the publishing company founded in Dayton, Ohio, by James Middleton Cox, who began with the Dayton Daily News. The company is private, 98% controlled by the octogenarian daughters of Cox, Barbara Cox Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers, two of the richest women in America, worth $10.3 billion each according to Forbes Magazine. The CEO is Anthony’s son, James C. Kennedy.

The company, now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, continues to publish the Dayton Daily News as well as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and fifteen other daily newspapers. It also publishes thirty non-daily papers, including The Western Star, Ohio’s oldest weekly newspaper. The company owns fifteen television stations including WSB-TV, the Atlanta affiliate of ABC, 81 radio stations including WSB-AM, and a large cable television enterprise.”

Thanks, Alex!

8 Replies to “Cox Communications and TiVo Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, Is a Cox Communications and TiVo Deal Looming?”

  1. Cox has a huge customer base in Fairfax County, VA (suburban DC) where they replaced Media General a few years back. During their digital upgrade a couple of years back, they did such a horrible job keeping services running that many thousands in FFCo left for DirecTV. They were hualed before the board and threatened several times. I suspect they are trying to win back DirecTiVo subscribers, like me, who are loath to give up that excellent user experience. Plus Verizon just showed up in the market this year, too.

  2. There are a lot of factors, don’t discount TiVos recent court win in the Echostar case. Personally I think it’s combination :
    1. TiVo’s win against Echostar makes licensing TiVo technology more attractive
    2. Opportunity to poach DirecTiVo customers
    3. Looking to gain a competitive edge in general
    4. (possibly) Upcoming Series3 promises to eliminate any advantage that their own units had over a real TiVo.
    5. (possibly) TiVo might have shown them the work they did for Comcast making it a much more realistic option.

  3. Robert, it is highly likely many have seen the work TiVo has done for Comcast (non-exclusive deal). In fact, I’ve been told they were privately screening a Motorola box running TiVo software at CES.

  4. I was one of those Fairfax County customers who left Cox for DirecTivo when the Cox service degrated during the upgrade. Now, despite an substantial investment in 3 DirecTivos (including the high definition model), I would seriously consider going back to Cox if they could offer me TiVo service. I get my Internet service through them and am quite satisfied with that service.

  5. I am a former Tivo owner who switched to the Cox Scientific Atlanta HD DVR (HD8300) only because a Tivo HD stand-alone unit is still not available for HD cable subscribers. I do miss the unique program recording options offered by Tivo such as the ability to record shows based on theme or an actor’s name. HOWEVER I love the COX DVR’s ability to connect an external hard drive. To me this is crucial because HD programs use lots of space and will fill up the internal hard drive in no time. That’s why the shows recorded in HD look like they are live and not downgraded. I love that! If a COX Tivo HD DVR is in the works, it must have external hard drive capability!

    Also being able to record 2 programs at the same time with the Cox DVR is a useful little bonus.

  6. With DirecTV’s idiotic decision to can TiVo and go with their own, subpar DVR, Cox can expect to gain many new customers from DTV. I will be the first to hand over my DTV+ DVR boat ancor and pay the $200.00 early termination fine to switch.

  7. The Tivo software will be runing on the Motorola and Scientific Atlanta hardware not Tivo hardware.

  8. you said you like the way that the Cox DVR allows for an external HD. Does that need to be formatted NTFS, FAT32, etc… I want to do this as well, but didn’t know what format the DVR accepts.

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