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Comcast Preps TiVo Marketing Launch

Comcast, after expanding the availability of its TiVo service in its New England market with limited trials to customers in Connecticut, plans to “light up” a full marketing campaign around TiVo in September and is preparing rollouts in additional markets before the end of the year.

The cable company also continues to fund development work for the TiVo product, which will include expanding the feature set and adding support for Tru2way infrastructure, according to an announcement TiVo issued Wednesday.

In addition, TiVo service on Cox Communications, which is currently in trials, is on track for a launch in Cox’s New England market later this year, the DVR company said.

TiVo provided updates on the rollouts with the two MSOs as part of reporting results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended July 31. Revenues were $65.2 million for the period, up 4% from a year ago, and TiVo posted a net profit of $2.9 million for the three-month period compared with a $17.7 million loss a year prior.

For its fiscal third quarter 2009, TiVo anticipates service and technology revenues in the range of $49 million to $51 million and a net loss in the range of $7 million to $9 million.

TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers cited the company’s “continued efforts to focus on efficient marketing spend” and its work with third parties “who make their own marketing expenditures on behalf of TiVo” as contributing to the decline in its quarterly subscription acquisition costs. For the quarter ended July 31, subscription acquisition costs were $135, compared with $758 during the same period last year. 

TiVo-owned subscription gross additions were approximately 36,000, compared to 41,000 gross additions for the year-ago period, to stand at approximately 1.7 million as of July 31.

TiVo reported a net decline in MSOs/broadcaster subscriptions during the period, dropping to 1.9 million from 2.5 million a year ago, as DirecTV no longer deploys new TiVo boxes.

TiVo also noted that a contempt hearing in its patent-infringement litigation against EchoStar is scheduled Sept. 4 to determine whether EchoStar is in contempt of the injunction that has already been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That injunction enjoins EchoStar from selling and operating infringing DVR units.