TiVo Starts to Target Former Aereo Subs

More than a month after coming away with the trademarks and customer lists of Aereo for about $1 million, TiVo has begun to market its new Roamio OTA DVR model directly to the former customers of the now-defunct provider of broadband TV and cloud DVR services.

According to the ZatzNotFunny blog, TiVo is pitching those customers the four-tuner Roamio OTA DVR and a TiVo Stream (a Slingbox-like sidecar that streams live and recorded shows to mobile devices) for $19.99 per month, with a two-year commitment. TiVo is billing this as a limited-time bundle that’s scheduled to end on April 27.

TiVo isn’t commenting about its ongoing Aereo-focused campaign beyond the details presented in the initial emailed pitch, which, under the subject line of “Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution,” tells former Aereo customers that they “can once again receive [their] favorite broadcast networks and enjoy DVR capabilities – without having to be a cable or satellite subscriber.” As ZatzNotFunny points out, the Aereo home page remains unchanged.

Following an initial limited edition run on the Roamio OTA, TiVo launched the model tailored for cord-cutters on a nationwide basis in January, selling it for $49.99, plus a $14.99 monthly service fee. Outside of retail, Frontier Communications is the first MVPD that has signed up to offer the Roamio OTA to broadband subs. In addition to supporting over-the-air broadcast TV channels, the new TiVo model also mixes in over-the-top content from sources such as Netflix and Hulu Plus and includes 500 gigabytes of storage.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of certain assets of defunct online TV/cloud DVR company Aereo on March 11. TiVo nabbed Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists for about $1 million, while RPX Corp. came away with the patents for  $225,000, and Alliance Technology Solutions put up $300,000 for certain Aereo equipment.

In all, Aereo raised less than $2 million via the auction, acknowledging earlier that it was a disappointing result. Aereo filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization  last November and shut down the service last June.