South Carolina based triple play provider Comporium is the latest cable provider to launch the TiVo Premier as a value add HD DVR component. Comporium joins several other cable operators including Suddenlink, RCN, and most recently Charter, all of whom seem to be giving TiVo some momentum with their cable MSO distribution strategy.
Comporium will offer the first TiVo Premier device to customers for $16.95/month, which is a $10 premium over their standard monthly HD DVR fee (additional TiVo boxes are priced $4/month over standard fees). While the $16.95 fee is higher than TiVo’s current advertised direct retail monthly fee of $9.95 (discounted price, standard pricing is $19.95/month), Comporium customers will have no upfront fees to buy the box.
Comporium will provide access over the TiVo devices to OTT content including Amazon and Blockbuster VOD (provided their customers also subscribe to broadband). For Comporium, the OTT video option is a bonus, since they currently do not offer a VOD product of their own. Other cable providers like Charter who offer their own VOD product typically block the OTT VOD options on their TiVo devices, integrating their own VOD offer instead.
The Comporium-TiVo-OTT angle illustrates a potential path for MSOs who do not currently offer a VOD product and may not want to invest in one. Of course the down side is the loss of potential VOD revenue, as well as the loss of the growing library of VOD content available through premium channels like HBO, as well as other free on demand content from popular programmers.
Comporium is working with Evolution Digital on the TiVo program. Evolution is a key channel distribution partner for TiVo into the cable MSO segment. Evolution claims 30+ TiVo distribution deals with MSOs to date. TiVo has chosen not to pursue similar distribution partnerships with IPTV providers, citing the relatively small market size in North America.