TiVo Airs Out Features For Over-the-Air Viewers

TiVo has jumped ahead of some broadcasters with new products and service features to target the estimated 15 million consumers who rely on over-the-air television.

Whi le broadcasters debut complementary streaming services, TiVo beat some of them to the punch Friday (March 6) with the launch of Network Comedy Collections, a feature that automatically records primetime and late-night comedy shows from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

The one-button feature, which shares some similarities to Dish Network’s PrimeTime Anytime offering for its Hopper DVR, records comedy shows from the broadcast networks, but relies on TiVo’s editorial staff to make those selections.

Examples of those picks include NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live; ABC’s Blackish and Jimmy Kimmel Live; Fox’s Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine; and CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and Late Show With David Letterman.

TiVo confirmed the Network Comedy Collections feature is available on all of its retail DVRs as well as those distributed by its multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) partners, but the company is billing it as a component that will be of particular value to customers of its new Roamio OTA DVR.

TiVo is launching the comedy service as broadcasters pursue OTT strategies. NBCUniversal confirmed last week that it will launch a comedy-based video subscription-VOD service later this year. CBS has launched “CBS All Access,” an OTT subscription service. Chase Carey, chief operating officer at 21st Century Fox, told an investor conference last Monday (March 2) that Fox is also keeping tabs on OTT distribution models.

While TiVo’s Roamio OTA has started out as a retail product, MVPDs are also interested in using it to keep broadband-only customers lassoed. Frontier Communications is the first pay TV provider that will market the Roamio OTA.

Tom Rogers, TiVo’s CEO, said the Roamio OTA “is getting real looks and interests” from other pay TV operators.”

TiVo recently emerged as the winning bidder for Aereo’s trademark and customer lists. Those lists will give TiVo prospective buyers for the Roamio OTA, but TiVo has not announced how it will use the Aereo brand.