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Rovi: No Decision On Exiting Consumer Hardware Biz

Rovi issued a statement Monday to clarify that no decision has been made to exit the consumer hardware business as it moves ahead with its $1.1 billion acquisition of TiVo.

The possibility that Rovi might not pursue that path and instead rely solely on third-party partners was raised last week, when company CFO Peter Halt said at an investor conference that "[b]eing in the hardware business isn't something that necessarily excites us.”

He later noted that there are several other box providers that do have direct-to-retail businesses.

“We'll be looking at the possibilities of working with them, having them control the box. And while that would be a partnership and we wouldn't get all the sales as a result, we think that's probably a better way to approach the consumer space."

Rovi, which did stop selling the Fan TV box soon after acquiring Fanhattan for $12 million , stressed that no final decisions have been made with respect to TiVo’s current hardware business.

“As we move toward bringing Rovi and TiVo together, we continue to evaluate multiple paths to put the award-winning TiVo consumer experience in the hands of users around the world,” Rovi said.

“Recent reports indicated a possible intent to exit portions of the consumer business following the completion of the acquisition,” the company continued. “There has not been any decision to exit the consumer hardware business.  One of the options to accelerate our consumer business growth includes continued collaboration with third-party hardware partners, just as Rovi has done for decades and TiVo has done more recently with MSOs. Our exploration of options to bring the TiVo experience to consumers in new and different ways should not be construed as a lack of passion or commitment to this important aspect of our business.

“The TiVo brand, award-winning user interface and design-centered development approach are all a direct result of a relentless focus on the consumer experience. This consumer-experience focus will continue post-acquisition and remains one of the core reasons for Rovi’s acquisition of TiVo.”

Rovi has already indicated that retail will remain an important channel once it consummates the TiVo deal.