TiVo CEO Tom Rogers has to be breathing a little easier this morning. He’s been struggling to show that the DVR pioneer isn’t just running on fumes — and settlement payments from patent-infringement suits like the big one this week with Verizon – as it struggles to compete with less expensive cable- and satellite-provided DVRs. One key to his strategy has been to persuade small- to mid-sized cable systems to use TiVo software and equipment to help them compete with technology from rivals including DirecTV and Dish Network. That initiative looked wobbly after Charter — one of TiVo’s most high-profile customers — said it’s revamping its technology plans. But TiVo won a vote of confidence this morning from Mediacom, the No. 8 cable operator with about 1M subs mostly in the Midwest.
Next year it will begin to offer TiVo products including its Premiere Q 4-tuner gateway DVR, TiVo Mini IP set-top box client and companion applications for iOS and Android devices. Mediacom also plans to offer Pace’s TiVo-powered 6-tuner, DOCSIS 3.0-capable box when it’s available. Although terms weren’t disclosed, TiVo could end up collecting as much as $15M a year, Brean Murray Carret analyst Todd Mitchell estimates. The combination of new deals like the one with Mediacom, cost cuts, and patent litigation settlements “puts TiVo on-track” to generate cash flow in Q4, B. Riley’s Eric Wold says. TiVo shares are up 2.8% today in early trading but are still down 1.3% over the last 12 months.