TiVo Name Lives On, but Integration Work Looms

Rovi’s acquisition of TiVo went through without a hitch last week, but now comes the hard part — integrating and shaping the new company and its product lines, and determining its long-term retail strategy.

Many of those questions are still to be answered as the new company, which is keeping the TiVo name and giving the Rovi brand the boot, starts to act on a plan expected to generate $100 million in synergies.

“The near term for us is really about pulling the two companies together and trying to get them humming as best we can,” Tom Carson, president and CEO of the new TiVo, said last Wednesday (Sept. 7), the day the $1.1 billion deal was closed.

“We’ll go through each of the product lines — everything from traditional set-top box guides to Internetconnected guides to search [and] recommendations technologies, all of the [areas] where you have overlap, and figure out what is best-of-breed and how do you want to optimize all of those solutions,” Carson said. “No decisions have been made on any of the product lines.”

Also to be decided is the future trajectory of TiVo’s retail strategy. TiVo was apparently still pushing ahead in that area before the deal was wrapped up — Federal Communications Commission documents show that TiVo is developing “Mantis,” a network DVR product with integrated over-the-air TV capabilities that is seemingly targeted to cord-cutters.

“The consumer business is something that is still of interest to us,” Carson said. “Having product in consumers’ homes is beneficial on the product development side and can help us with the products we develop for service providers.”

But Carson said the trend with service providers — to offer hardware-agnostic software, apps and interfaces — is an angle TiVo will also consider for its retail business. If there are questions about how to go forward, “it’s about what’s the right hardware strategy for the consumer business,” he said.