Cox Signs Deal With TiVo for Cable-Box DVR Software

TiVo Inc. (TIVO) Thursday said it had agreed to provide cable company Cox Communications with software for digital video recorders.

The deal with Cox comes on the heels of TiVo's recent patent win against satellite-TV broadcaster EchoStar Communications Corp. (DISH), and further strengthens TiVo's hand against cable companies who provide their own DVRs to customers.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shares of Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo rose 50 cents, or 7 percent, to close at $7.68 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The deal with Atlanta-based Cox is TiVo's second agreement with a major cable operator.

The company announced a similar deal with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the country's largest cable company, about a year ago. It also has a deal with satellite-TV provider DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV)

As with the Comcast deal, TiVo's agreement with Cox will allow customers to use TiVo's DVR capabilities without swapping out boxes. Instead, TiVo will customize its software so it can be downloaded onto Cox's existing DVR boxes.

The service is scheduled to become available in selected Cox markets during the first half of 2007, TiVo said.

A federal jury in April determined that EchoStar, the country's second-largest satellite company with 12.5 million customers, willfully infringed on TiVo's "time-warp" patent with its own DVRs. Then last week, a U.S. district judge ordered EchoStar to stop selling and turn off more than 3 million DVRs within 30 days.

EchoStar, of Englewood, Colo., has been able to temporarily block the injunction by appealing to a higher court, thus winning some time to negotiate with TiVo.

Industry observers noted that the recent course of events with EchoStar likely would pressure other cable companies such as Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) cable unit or Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) into licensing deals with TiVo. is owned and operated by News Corporation, which holds a controlling stake in DirecTV.