Is TiVo For Sale


TiVo’s president Marty Yudkovitz just quit, two weeks after chief executive Mike Ramsey was kicked up to the chairman’s office. Wall Street Journal speculates that the company might be up for sale – either to Microsoft or DirecTV.

TiVo executives, though, insist no deal is in the offing. “TiVo is not for sale,” Mr. Ramsay says. “We intend to remain an independent entity.”

I don’t see it happening either. Why? Microsoft finally has a decent PVR offering, and DirecTV just developed its own, and they are both might fine – if you can overlook the interface shortcomings. But that’s an addressable problem. TiVo, the article says is counting on technology that allows TiVo users to download video off the Internet. The company also is working on DVR with a cable-television tuner, so that users won’t need a separate box from the cable company, the Journal says.

“The world is littered with innovative companies that wound up innovating for somebody else,” says Tom Wolzien, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Bonus Reading: Ta-Ta Tivo


Jesse Kopelman

Best thing that can happen to them would be to be bought by D*TV but I doubt it will happen. Right now the largest customer base is the Direct TV Tito customers and D*TV owns them. They control the features and OS and by extension the customer. Unfortunately just like every other media group D*TV has been planing to stab Tivo in the back since the beginning and has already announced the replacement products. High end will be the integrated media center, low end will be cheap DVR’s with a so so ui. Will people love this, no, but they will find just adequate enough not to bother with changing things. Since no D*TV customers even have the Tivo advanced features they will remain clueless as to what else they are missing making the so so offering even more palatable. They are simple going to die a slow death and then have cultures pick the bones clean unless they can innovate radically, go to a open architecture, take back their customer base and get a huge swelling of new blood. None of which will win them the secend media partner they will need.

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