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TiVo shares decline on DirecTV report

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch

Last Update: 4:40 PM ET Aug. 11, 2005**

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of digital-video-recorder pioneer TiVo Inc. fell more than 6% Thursday following a published report in which DirecTV's CEO reiterated the company's intention to begin marketing its own DVR.

TiVo shares declined 37 cents to close at $5.62.

A Reuters report quoted DirecTV Chief Executive Chase Carey as saying the company would cease promotion of TiVo-branded DVRs in favor of technology created by News Corp. subsidiary NDS Group PLC . News Corp. owns a controlling stake in DirecTV.

DirecTV spokesman Bob Marsocci said he's "surprised" that Wall Street reacted with a TiVo sell-off Thursday, given the fact that DirecTV has made its intentions known more than once since January.

DirecTV had previously said it would begin to offer NDS DVRs in its set-top boxes later this year. Marsocci said the new boxes would ship in October.

The NDS DVR is intended to have greater functionality than TiVo's, allowing more hours of recording time, faster speed, and the ability to mark certain parts of a program for later reference.

"If someone calls up and says they want a DVR, the first one that we'll tell you about is the new DVR," he said. "But if someone says their neighbor has the DirecTV with TiVo, and can they have that one -- we'll still make it available."

The existing agreement between DirecTV and TiVo will remain valid at least into 2007, Marsocci said.

Currently, a majority of TiVo's new subscribers each quarter stem from its relationship with DirecTV.

The company took a major step toward diversifying its profile in March when it agreed with Comcast Communications to co-develop a version of the TiVo service that would be made available to most Comcast customers by mid-to-late 2006. Comcast already markets its own DVR product.
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