TiVo announced today the launch of a service offering Internet video to TiVo subscribers, with clips from the NBA, Heavy.com, A.O. Scott‘s Movie Minute from nytimes.com and more. While cool in concept, we were a little alarmed by this quote from TiVo’s CEO in today’s Wall Street Journal:
“For an awful lot of viewers, video doesn’t become real TV until you can watch it on the television,” TiVo Chief Executive Tom Rogers said.
Quick message to Tom Rogers: For an awful lot of Internet video viewers, TV doesn’t become real until you can watch it on the Internet.
Perhaps he misunderstood how “Lazy Sunday” became a cultural phenomenon. And all this from a guy who, while at Primedia, orchestrated the company’s $690 million purchase of About.com, only to watch it tank before being bailed out by the New York Times Co. purchase of About long after he was gone.
TiVo’s full release:
TiVo Announces Revolutionary New Service, TiVoCast; Bringing Broadband Video Content to the TV
TiVo Signs New Agreements with NBA and WNBA, The New York Times, Heavy, iVillage, and CNET to Deliver Broadband Programming Directly to the Television
ALVISO, Calif., June 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), today announced the launch of TiVoCast(TM), a revolutionary new service which will deliver broadband video directly to the television sets of TiVo subscribers. The TiVoCast service turns Web video into television by bringing top broadband content now only available on the PC to the TV set. “The range and quality of broadband video is exploding on the Web, but it’s not TV until it is on the TV,” said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo. “With the TiVoCast service, we are once again transforming the television experience by bringing the rapidly expanding array of video content on the Internet into the living room.”
“Television is still the preferred platform for watching video. The TiVoCast service captures mainstream and specialty-based content on the Web, delivering programming that is not otherwise available through the TV today and providing a wide variety of choice that will be of interest to all segments of the TV audience,” said Tara Maitra, TiVo’s Vice President and General Manager, Programming. “The TiVoCast service provides niche networks and broadband content suppliers, for which the economics of television distribution might not make sense, a way to connect with audiences in the living room via their favorite medium for watching video, TV and TiVo.”
As part of the launch, TiVo announced that it has reached new agreements with leading video content providers including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), The New York Times, Heavy, iVillage and CNET among others. The broadband video content will include:
* NBA and WNBA — As the first professional sports leagues to team up with TiVo, fans will have access to NBA and WNBA video showcases during the season that will be available to all TiVo subscribers. During The Finals, which tip off on Thursday, June 8 on ABC, a special “Finals Showcase” video package highlighting the greatest Finals moments in NBA History will be available for fans to view on TiVo.
The New York Times — The New York Times will offer a selection of original video segments on a variety of topics including A.O. Scott’s signature Movie Minute film reviews, news analysis from the Times’ Washington DC bureau, David Pogue’s technology product reviews and many more.
Heavy.com — Heavy.com is the Number 1 digital entertainment brand for 18 – 34 year old guys with more than 12 million unique viewers monthly Nielsen) and a viral reach of 65 million taste-challenged pop culture junkies. Its programming staples include “Behind the Music that Sucks,” “American Suck Countdown” and “The Massive Mating Game.”
iVillage — Featuring original video clips from one of the strongest and most widely recognized brands on the Internet for women. Informative and entertaining segments will include real stories and how-to advice covering beauty, parenting, fashion, home & food and relationships, among other topics.
CNET — (www.cnet.com), the place consumers go to understand and compare consumer electronics, computers, and software to find the right choice and a property of CNET Networks, Inc., will provide viewers buying advice and how-to segments that help them get the most out of their technology products. Content will include video from CNET TV’s popular franchises such as Insider Secrets, Weekend Project, and First Look from the Labs, and feature popular CNET editorial personalities Brian Cooley, Molly Wood, and Tom Merritt.
Danger Rangers — These animated characters will deliver exciting, action-adventure series that empowers children to make smart safety decisions. Content will be premium, quality entertainment to improve children’s safety awareness, making them less likely to be injured, disabled or even killed in a preventable accident.
H2O: HipHop on Demand — Provided content will focus on delivering viewers’ world and television premieres of HipHop/Urban themed programming targeting the large and growing multiracial Urban TV consumer market.
Union on Demand — USA’s first on demand action sports film network will provide premium Surf, Snow, Skate, BMX and Motocross content to the consumers and enthusiasts.
Rocketboom — Currently one of the most popular videoblogs on the Internet. As early pioneers of online video, Rocketboom brings creative news and political commentary in 3 to 4 minute bites of internet culture, daily.
Here!: Offers a wide variety of original movies and series appealing to the broad based and diverse gay and lesbian audience.
Just as television content is easy to find and navigate through the TiVo interface, the TiVoCast service makes it easy to enjoy Web-based video content. TiVo subscribers will be able to easily find this content through the Showcases area on TiVo Central, the main menu of the TiVo service. The content will be offered free of charge to subscribers. TiVo and its partners will have the ability to integrate advertising within the content. All of this content will be available to any TiVo(R) Series2(TM) DVR connected via broadband.
“The NBA is always looking to utilize innovative ways to connect with our fans and bring them closer to the game,” said Steven Justman, Vice President of Global Media & NBA TV. “As The Finals tip off this week, our special Finals Showcase on TiVo will capture the greatest Finals moments in history and our players’ passion for the game as Miami and Dallas begin their quest for an NBA Championship.”
“We are always looking for new opportunities to bring The Times’s journalism to our readers and TiVo’s new TiVoCast service is an ideal
example,” said Nicholas Ascheim, senior product manager, NYTimes.com. “TiVo has been a pioneer in changing the way people consume video content and The Times has been an innovator in changing the way people consume news and information. This licensing agreement between our companies is a natural pairing.”
“Our successful charter relationship with TiVo is evidence that today’s consumers are ready for an on-demand channel about personal technology,” said Joe Gillespie, executive vice president of CNET. “We’re excited to reintroduce CNET TV for TiVo subscribers because we know that nothing helps demystify technology as well as video.”
“Hip Hop and Urban culture fans are addicted to TiVo because there is so little content that caters to this large and growing audience,” said Will Griffin, Founder and CEO, Def On Demand. “TiVo is a must-have because it allows our fans to experience their favorite content anytime and for as long as they want.”
For TiVo’s broadband video content partners, the agreement delivers access to more than 400,000 TiVo subscribers and enables consumers to easily access the content directly from their television sets in their homes. TiVo will give these outlets a platform to reach their consumers and enthusiasts in a direct and effective way, providing them a vital opportunity to be profitable through distribution, introduction of advertising, subscription plans, or pay-per-view.