Four operators sign on for TiVo Broadband streaming platform

TiVo has marked telco customer wins for TiVo Broadband, announcing Monday that four operators are now offering the streaming TV platform to their broadband-only subscribers.

Those signed on include Buckeye Broadband, Blue Stream Fiber, Blue Ridge Communications and Bluepeak. It represents early success since TiVo-parent Xperi just launched the platform in January at CES.

With its platform, TiVo is targeting telcos that want to offer TV and streaming options to broadband-only subscribers. It comes as some in the industry – including smaller and independent providers – deemphasize traditional pay TV services in the face of rising programming costs and declining video bases, to instead focus on higher value broadband customers. As some analysts and industry experts have previously pointed out, while pay TV is declining, having a video option to offer consumers can also help operators enhance the value and stickiness of subscribing to their broadband services. Commenting to StreamTV Insider in December, Jason Cohen, CEO of MyBundle, which offers streaming services and other solutions to broadband provider partners, cited the trend among small and mid-sized operators, predicting “hundreds of companies” would be shutting down their pay TV services within the next 36 months as they explore ways to ditch pay TV in favor of higher-margin broadband businesses.

The TiVo Broadband platform largely leans on technology that already powers the TiVo IPTV platform that’s used by more than 100 customers. Addressing consumer challenges of TV fragmentation and content discovery through easier TV use and management across their streaming subscription and paid services, as well as linear channels, is part of the aim of the newest platform. The streaming-based solution enables internet service providers (ISPs) and telecom operators to deliver access to SVOD apps, the TiVo+ free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service with over 800 channels, as well as customer-specific linear channels, through a unified interface to their broadband-only customer bases. It also is designed to boost personalized content recommendations, user engagement, and help reduce churn.

Subscribers can utilize the platform across devices, and according to TiVo, particularly for those seeking a managed environment, the platform is available on Evolution Digital’s EVO FORCE 1 and FUSE 4K stick.

“We have continued to build upon our commitment to provide our customers with the best, most cost-effective video consumption service, making the implementation of TiVo Broadband an obvious choice for us,” said Geoff Shook, president and general manager at Buckeye Broadband, in a statement. “We believe the TiVo Broadband service will provide a meaningful alternative programming source for our customers as we continue to innovate and offer complementary solutions that ease programming issues.”

Speaking to StreamTV Insider in an earlier interview last summer, Buckeye Broadband’s Adam Pancoast, director of digital marketing, explained how the cable operator was pursuing fiber deployments instead of its legacy coaxial cable and had made the move to only market a streaming TV video offer to new customers. Pancoast, in August, said that video had already shifted several years prior into the role of a complementary offering to Buckeye’s other services. It continued to offer linear network channels but at the time through a TVEverywhere app called StreamTV (no relation to this publication) that integrated live linear, local and on-demand programs, and was also powered by TiVo.

Now the latest offering from Buckeye, also powered by TiVo, integrates access to SVOD apps and the TiVo+ FAST.

“Embracing the era of connectivity, we are enhancing the streaming video experience for broadband-only customers in new ways, across a full range of devices,” said Jeffrey Glahn, SVP of global sales at TiVo, in a statement. “TiVo Broadband is an ally for operators seeking to advance their offerings to bring consumers to the content they love faster. The commitment of four operators, since the initial launch in January, shows a strong endorsement of our partners and their confidence in our ability to deliver and support innovation.”

TiVo isn’t the only company pursuing a streaming-linear TV aggregation platform play.

Comcast and Charter’s Xumo joint venture last fall debuted the Xumo Stream Box, which aims to simplify content search and discovery and is already being offered to Charter and Comcast subscribers. The device combines access to a wide variety of paid and free streaming apps and pay TV linear channels, along with the Xumo FAST, within a single user interface that’s powered by Comcast’s EntertainmentOS.  During Charter’s most recently quarterly earnings executives said the operator had deployed nearly 1 million of the streaming devices. And like TiVo, Xumo is looking to extend reach of its technology to other operators in the space, including Mediacom, which last year signed on to offer the Xumo Stream Box to its broadband-only subscribers.