Google,Virgin Media deals command TiVo spotlight

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2009 9:53 AM

Deals with Google and Virgin Media took the spotlight away from TiVo's fiscal third-quarter loss Wednesday, as analysts said the company stands to benefit from the new agreements.

The maker of digital video recorders posted a fiscal third-quarter loss Tuesday. It also announced a U.K. distribution deal with Virgin Media Inc.

TiVo said Virgin Media will be the exclusive distributor of TiVo's services and technology in the U.K., and Tivo will become the exclusive provider of so-called "middleware" and other software for Virgin Media's next generation of set-top boxes.

Kaufman Bros. analyst Todd Mitchell called the Virgin deal "both strategically and financially significant."

TiVo also signed a deal with Google Inc. that will allow the Internet search leader to draw on viewing data from TiVo subscribers to help sell TV ads sold through its GoogleTV advertising platform.

Mitchell said this deal could have broader implications down the road if TiVo builds up its subscriber base like it hopes to.

The analyst kept a "Buy" rating on Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo's shares.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible also said the company stands to benefit from the new deals, as well as from international growth opportunities. He assigned a "Buy" rating to TiVo's shares.