TiVo, Best Buy Form Broad Partnership

The New York Times and the San Jose Mercury News were reporting late Wednesday that TiVo is set to announce a broad partnership with consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, today. According to the reports, the partnership--whose financial terms are not being disclosed--will see 1) Best Buy aggressively promoting TiVo products in its stores (as part of what the Times described as a "multiyear commitment" by Best Buy to advertise and promote TiVo products); 2) TiVo developing a custom version of its set-top box that will be sold in Best Buy stores and that will allow the retailer to advertise its products to TiVo subscribers; 3) Best Buy financing an initiative to incorporate TiVo's interface, features and services into its own consumer electronics brands, including its Insignia HDTV's; 4) Best Buy using TiVo's tcommerce functionality to enable TiVo users to purchase its products via the remote control; 5) TiVo providing its subscribers with access to Best Buy's Napster music service, as well as to any digital offerings launched by the retailer in the future; and 6) Best Buy training its employees in order to ensure that they are more effective salespeople for TiVo products and services.

According to the Mercury News, TiVo CEO, Tom Rogers, told it that Best Buy-customized TiVo DVR's and a Napster service on TiVo are unlikely to be launched before early next year, and that the integration of TiVo's platform into Best Buy's store-brand TV sets would occur even further out than that.

North America