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Tivo reports a 45 per cent growth in subscriptions

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MUMBAI: American firm Tivo which creates television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended 31 January, 2006.

Total subscriptions were approximately 4.4 million, which represents a 45 per cent growth in the subscription base during the past year. Service and technology revenues for the year increased 48 per cent to $170.9 million, compared to $115.5 million last year. Service and technology revenues for the quarter increased 37 per cent to $47 million, compared to $34.2 million for the same period last year.

TiVo achieved its first positive cash flow from operations. For the year, Tivo lessened its net loss to $34.4 million and net loss per share of ($0.41). This was a 57 per cent and 59 per cent improvement respectively, compared to a net loss of ($79.8) million, or ($0.99) per share for the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, Tivo reported a net loss of ($19.5) million and net loss per share of ($0.23), a 42 per cent and 45 per cent improvement respectively, compared to a net loss of ($33.7) million, or ($0.42) per share, for the fourth quarter of last year.

Tivo-owned subscription gross additions were 221,000 for the quarter, compared to 276,000 in the fourth quarter of last year. This fiscal fourth quarter was the second best quarter in Tivo’s history in terms of Tivo-owned subscription net additions. Tivo-owned subscription net additions were 183,000 compared to 251,000 in the fourth quarter of last year. These numbers represent a decline compared to last year, reflective of the more challenging competitive environment. However, the fourth quarter results also suggest an improvement in year-over-year trends.

In terms of sequential quarter-over-quarter percentage growth, this year represented a significant improvement over last year, showing early traction from the company's new marketing programmes. Separately, as expected, TiVo added 173,000 DirecTV subscriptions in the quarter, compared to 379,000 in the third quarter of the year.

Tivo CEO Tom Rogers said “This was a steady quarter for Tivo as our subscription base continued to grow, even in this more competitive environment. During the last six months, we have implemented a number of marketing programs designed to support our long-term goal of driving increased scale in our
subscription base.

"We are starting to see the results of these programmes as the fourth quarter was our best on-line quarter ever through TiVo.com. In addition, virtually all new subscriptions during the quarter signed on for a minimum one-year period, helping to further reduce our already comparatively low churn rate.

“One of the key ways to drive our subscription base is to continue to differentiate TiVo’s service features from those of generic DVRs, which is an important driving force for us in 2006. Along those lines, we have just introduced a groundbreaking way for parents to supervise television in the home with all the simplicity that the Tivo service has come to be known for. TiVo has stepped in to solve an age old problem in the children’s television arena with the support of the largest children’s television groups in the country,
Common Sense Media and The Parents Television Council.

“As the pioneer in the DVR market, we continue to blaze the trail by providing our subscribers with unique content and programming features like TiVo KidZone, TiVoToGo, Advertising Search and the Yahoo! partnerships for TV scheduling, traffic, and photo distribution, which will continue to separate the TiVo service as a best of breed product.

“In addition, as demonstrated by the Verizon Wireless announcement earlier this week, and a number of device integration initiatives made in the fourth quarter including the updated capability in our TivoToGo feature to transfer TV shows to portable devices including the Sony PSP and our work with Intel to seamlessly integrate content from TiVo units with Intel’s Viiv platform. Tivo is demonstrating that it is a central point of integration in the home with other digital devices and services,” adds Rogers.

Tivo has also announced new, simplified pricing structures that make it easier for consumers to add Tivo to their home entertainment options. TiVo developed the new pricing structure after completing several months of market research among new and existing Tivo subscriptions and extensively testing the pricing options in the marketplace.

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