TiVo in Strategic Partnership with Spanish Cable Operator, ONO

--ONO to Use TiVo to Provide a "Seamless Convergence between Internet and Traditional TV Content"

TiVo said Wednesday that it has signed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement with Spain's largest cable operator, ONO, to deploy "next-generation TV" in Spain. According to the company, ONO will leverage its modern fiber-optic network and the TiVo user experience to offer customers a service that provides a "seamless convergence between Internet and traditional television content" (note: TiVo has previously announced deals to integrate its user experience with set-top boxes from UK cable operator, Virgin Media, and connected TV's from Best Buy's in-house Insignia brand--see the articles published on itvt.com, November 30th and May 25th).

The partnership designates ONO as the exclusive distributor of TiVo's advanced television services in Spain, and designates TiVo as the exclusive software provider for all next-generation set-top boxes deployed by ONO, including both DVR and non-DVR set-tops. The companies say that they also expect to collaborate on solutions that will make the TiVo user experience available to consumers beyond ONO's cable footprint, in conjunction with terrestrial- and Internet-delivered content--though they are not yet disclosing specifics of these plans. "Working with a strategic partner of the stature of TiVo, a pioneer and innovator in the development of a converged recording system and in the implementation of a new model of television in other countries, allows us to make the leap to launching the next generation of TV in the market," ONO CEO, Rosalia Portela, said in a prepared statement. "Our fiber-optic network combined with the capacity of TiVo will position us at the cutting edge of advanced next-generation services for the Internet and television." Added TiVo president and CEO, Tom Rogers: "We are extremely proud to be selected as ONO's strategic partner for its next-generation video experience and believe that together we can offer the most compelling video product in the Spanish marketplace. Building on our recent announcement with Virgin Media in the UK, this deal demonstrates the growing proliferation of TiVo as the most compelling solution for television providers seeking to differentiate their service through a best-in-class user experience and a world of content that integrates broadcast and broadband television to go well beyond the confines of traditional pay television."

According to the companies, their partnership will see them working with other technology providers, including Cisco and Nagravision, to implement and launch ONO's next-generation TV platform. They say that the TiVo products deployed by ONO will leverage the operator's fiber-optic network to deliver an array of content, including broadcast TV, cable VOD and Internet-delivered video. This broad content offering, the companies say, will be made cohesive by TiVo's software, which "provides a universal search experience across the infinite world of content unleashed by this type of hybrid platform." ONO's TiVo-based offering will feature TiVo's branded user interface, according to the companies, and such standard TiVo features as Season Pass recordings and WishList searches.