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TiVo Facing Identity Crisis

A new report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) suggests that as DirecTV phases out shipments of TiVo DVRs -- a relationship that accounted for 70 percent of TiVo units sold in 2004 but will account for less than 5 percent of unit shipments by 2007 -- TiVo will be forced to come to terms with an increasingly competitive market flooded by free DVRs from video service providers. TDG argues that though TiVo will look to new cable and satellite relationships to fill the gap, these dealings will generate far too little revenue to sustain the company for the long-term. "TiVo's new president and CEO, Tom Rogers, will face many challenges as he leads TiVo into its post-DirecTV chapter," said Scott Kipp, author of the report and a contributing analyst. "Service provider relationships will no doubt be the company's initial panacea, but while such relationships may be cause for short-term optimism, their ability to contribute significantly to the Company's bottom line is limited. TiVo's long-term survival requires a major transformation in its branding and positioning strategies. It will simply not survive as a DVR solution provider. Instead, it must become a true 21st century media company, combining consumer electronics, digital audio, web-based video, and T-commerce strategies, each with a significant Internet component."

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