TiVo has a special relationship with the International CES. In 1999, the company helped to popularize the reputation of what was then known as the Consumer Electronics Show as a showcase for cutting-edge technology when it introduced visitors to the DVR. The device promised to revolutionize television by divorcing TV viewing from the network-dictated timetable, and empowering people to skip over ads. Now about half of all homes have a DVR, and TiVo CEO Tom Rogers is navigating his company through new changes in technology and business that will even more dramatically change where and how people watch TV. Deadline caught up with him at the Las Vegas confab this week to see what forecasts about the medium are real — and which ones are just hype. Here are his thoughts, edited for length and clarity.
DEADLINE: People at CES always sound enthusiastic about the state of TV. You have a different view.
ROGERS: If you walk out on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show you’re hit by everything that’s cool about the future of television. The reality is that television is still playing total catch-up and is behind the eight-ball compared to where music is to the consumer. What happened to music is that the industry got crushed. But what came out of that was a consumer model where you can get anything out there and get it in streaming form or downloadable form, to any device in an aggragated form, a la carte, personalized. Really, it’s a wonderful model for the consumer. And television is not there. Read More »
When many studios license shows to Netflix they stipulate that the content can’t be distributed in the U.S. through a pay TV operator’s set top box — but that should change, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers told analysts today. Netflix “has clearly risen to the level of a must-have” for consumers who want streamed video. And once Netflix can negotiate changes in its contracts “increasingly we’re hearing operators wanting to include Netflix in their distribution” after years of considering it a threat. It would benefit TiVo if he’s right: Its DVRs can integrate broadband video with conventional cable channels. In September, UK cable operator Virgin Media said that it would include a Netflix app on the TiVo boxes it offers to some of its subscribers – blurring the distinction between the online service and premium channels like HBO. Rogers naturally wants more U.S. cable operators to let TiVo handle their advanced services. Cable “is beginning to pay a price for not having found the right balance [between marketing broadband and video] and not highlighting how video benefits flow from broadband connectivity.” Smaller operators have turned to TiVo while big companies such as Time Warner Cable haven’t. But Rogers says that he doesn’t “see it being sustainable that somebody in suburban Anchorage, Alaska, can have a vastly better advanced television experience than somebody in the media capital of the world living on Park Avenue and 60th Street.” Read More »
Shareholders at TiVo’s annual meeting yesterday approved the company’s $11.5M compensation last year for CEO Tom Rogers, rejecting pleas by two leading proxy advisory firms to challenge the salary package. Nearly 60% of the votes cast for or … Read More »
Two of the most prominent proxy advisory firms, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), want investors to oppose TiVo CEO Tom Rogers’ package at the July 31 annual meeting in Menlo Park, Cal. The so-called “Say On Pay” vote is strictly advisory, but shareholders rarely break with management. A rejection would be deeply embarrassing for Rogers and the board. Directors agreed to a $11.5M compensation package for Rogers for the year that ended in January 2013, up from $6.7M in 2012 and $1.7M in 2011. TiVo shares appreciated 24.9% during the last fiscal year. But Glass Lewis gives TiVo an “F” grade for failing to adequately link pay to performance. TiVo “does not utilize a sufficiently objective, formula-based approach,” the firm says. It adds that directors inflated Rogers pay by benchmarking it to compensation for CEOs at companies that are at least twice TiVo’s size measured by annual revenues. ISS raised similar objections, and listed 23 companies that it says would provide more appropriate benchmarks. Read More »
Unlike in computers and the Internet, the TV industry “hasn’t had an upgrade to its look and feel for quite a long time,” TiVo CEO Tom Rogers says. Three guesses what he wants pay TV providers to do … Read More »
TiVo’s own data shows that its users can’t wait to skip past ads. But unlike Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen — who has infuriated the media industry with his Hopper DVR that helps viewers to automate the process — TiVo CEO … Read More »
TiVo‘s stock price is down about 2% in after-market trading — following a 3% drop earlier today. The DVR pioneer ended its fiscal Q1 in April with a net loss of $20.8M, down from a $139M … Read More »
It’s hard to begrudge TiVo CEO Tom Rogers for sounding cocky on a day when his company’s stock shot up 10.1%. That was the result of last night’s announcement that AT&T agreed to pay $215M to resolve the DVR pioneer’s patent infringement law suit. The victory, following a similar one last year with Dish Network, means “we won’t hesitate to be as aggressive as we need to be” with other challenges including one against Verizon, Rogers told bankers and analysts at Citigroup’s Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference. The news helped to support his larger theme that TiVo has finally turned the corner after years of declining subscriptions and financial losses. “We are getting much, much closer to our goal of EBITDA (cash flow) profitability,” Rogers says. TiVo subscriptions will rise as the company establishes itself as an ally for cable and satellite providers who feel threatened by Google and Apple’s efforts to break into the TV business. Earlier Wednesday Charter CEO Mike Lovett told the Citigroup audience that his company’s plan to offer TiVo DVRs is “a game changer” and “a way to take it to the Read More »
UPDATE, 3:10 PM: TiVo told analysts in a conference call that litigation expenses will grow as the company gears up for battles to defend its DVR patents. The U.S. International Trade Commission holds a hearing in December. In … Read More »
TiVo today reported a second-quarter loss of $19.6 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a $15.3 million loss, or 13 cents a share, a year ago. That beats analysts’ estimates of a 20 cent loss but can’t … Read More »