TiVo Content War Looms After Movie Deal

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A bitter war is set to break out between Seven Media and Foxtel after it was revealed that the free to air TV network has cut a deal with an ISP and a content provider to deliver unlimited movies to their TiVo set top box for between $79 and $99 a month. They also expect consumer to sign up for a 2 year contract.

The move which is a slap in the face for the Seven Media owned Unwired and the Engine Network Companies that Seven Media have bypassed in favour of Adelaide based ISP Internode.


The movies will be provided by Franchise Entertainment Group who operates the Blockbuster and VideoEzy chains.


 Under the deal consumers who pay up to $99 a month will get access to movies from six studios however the studios have not been named. This will allow them to watch as many movies as they want according to the Australian newspaper that were leaked the story by Hybrid TV chief executive Robbee Minicola who has been responsible for sales of the struggling TiVo set top box.


One observer from Foxtel said “After struggling to ramp up interest in their TiVo set top box they are now doing what they initially said they would not do in a desperate move to stimulate interest in a struggling content model”.


They added “Around 30,000 consumers who have paid $699 are now going to be asked to pay for a movie download service”.


Internode is a small Adelaide based service provider with about 150,000 broadband customers. The Australian says that they will begin cross-selling TiVo to its customers next month however it is not known how the deal will be packaged with retailers who are also selling a standalone TiVo unit.

 

TiVo and Internode are expected to charge customers between $79 and $99 a month for a TiVo set-top box and a broadband internet connection on a two-year contract.


According to the Australian Ms Minicola said TiVo was part of Seven’s bid to “future-proof” TV from the increasing threats of peer-to-peer pirate internet downloads. The service will provide access to new digital FTA TV channels to be launched in the next year, and enable digital recording of TV shows and fast-forwarding through ads.


It will provide a wireless broadband internet connection to the TiVo and the home computer, and allow downloads and watching of movies on TV without paying download penalties.


“We’re not here to make money on the box. We’re here to get the customer to get the box,” Ms Minicola said.

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