TiVo Pays $18.5 Million at Auction to Buy MobiTV

A gavel on top of a stack of money
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TiVo has emerged as the winning bidder for bankrupt IPTV solutions provider MobiTV, paying $18.5 million to beat out a competitive joint bid from Amino Technologies and Roku over the course of a two-day auction process.

Emeryville, Calif.-based MobiTV represented a competitor for TiVo in the market for delivering IPTV solutions to cable companies. 

TiVo's bid, which included $17.4 million in cash, usurped the combination of a joint $18 million bid that included $5 million sub bid by Roku and patent company RPX for MobiTV's intellectual property assets; and a $13 million bid by UK-based Amino for the broader "going concern" portion of MobiTV's business.  

TiVo's acquisition must first be approved by the Delaware court overseeing MobiTV's Chapter 11 restructuring, but TiVo parent company Xperi believes the transaction will be closed by June. 

The Amino/Roku/RPX joint bid is now considered a "backup bid."

MobiTV provides turnkey app-based video distribution technology to small and midsized pay TV operators, mainly cable companies, with clients ranging from bigger concerns, including T-Mobile and Cable One, to the tiny cable operators represented by the National Cable TV Cooperative. 

MobiTV entered bankruptcy in early March, reporting liabilities of $79 million vs. only $19 million in assets. T-Mobile, which used MobiTV tech in its recently launched and quickly scuttled TVision virtual pay TV platform, provided MobiTV with $15.5 million in debtor-in-possession financing to keep going amid its Chapter 11 process.

TiVo was purchased nearly two years ago by Xperi in a deal valued at $3 million Los Angeles-based Xperi is vested in sectors including in-car entertainment.  

In a statement released following the successful winning bid, Xperi said, "The MobiTV solution provides an attractive extension of TiVo’s IPTV Pay-TV service offerings by adding managed services with the ability to reduce deployment time and onboarding costs. MobiTV will help increase TiVo’s IPTV penetration with U.S. pay-TV operators enabling them to rapidly launch a branded, fully featured, app-based Pay-TV service. The acquisition includes MobiTV’s patent portfolio, which is highly complementary to Xperi’s existing media patent portfolio."

“The acquisition of the MobiTV assets immediately expands our capabilities and the addressable market for our IPTV solutions, helping to secure TiVo’s position as a leading provider of Pay-TV solutions,” said Jon Kirchner, chief executive officer of Xperi, in the statement.  “As a result, the acquisition of MobiTV’s managed service assets will help accelerate our growth in the IPTV market through an increased subscriber footprint.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!