The first quarter financials for PVR pioneer TiVo feature all the drama of a top-rated time-shifted TV court show. While revenue rose 38 percent to 55.1 million Dollars, profit was dragged down by over 10 million, largely thanks to increased competition from similar hard drive products, and its ongoing patent infringement lawsuit against EchoStar Communications Corp.
Last week, the company petitioned to prevent EchoStar making or selling its rival digital recorder. This follows April’s judgment that EchoStar infringed key TiVo software and hardware patents, which led to an award of 74 million Dollars in damages. Since then, the US Patent and Trademark Office has examined 61 TiVo patents and has rejected some of the claims.
TiVo says that this will not impact the jury verdict; EchoStar disagrees and is appealing the decision.
As the confrontation heads to an inevitable cliff-hanger season finale, TiVo topper Tom Rogers says “We are confident in our case and continue to fight it out in court.”
Over the first quarter, TiVo added 91,000 US subscriptions, bringing its total subscriber base to 4.4 million. The company’s latest sales initiative is to offer its recorder box free of charge provided owners take out a subscription for a minimum of 12 months.
It has also entered into an agreement to deliver broadband delivered TV to TiVo boxes, via a deal with internet TV service Brightcove.