TiVo is due to launch in Australia through a partnership with Seven Media Group. All the digital channels of the free-to-air television networks in Australia will be available through the new platform, which will provide the usual digital video recording features as well as integration with broadband services and interactive advertising capabilities.
The launch of the service later this month was announced by David Leckie, the chief executive of Seven Media Group, and Tom Rogers, the president and chief executive of TiVo.
“TiVo’s arrival in Australia further strengthens free-to-air television in Australia. Over more than five decades, free-to-air television continues to define the media landscape,” said David Leckie. He added that 7 out of 10 Australians watch only free-to-air television. He spoke of “meeting new consumer demands for more control, more services and more involvement in the television experience” to create “the broader multi-channel platform that will redefine television in this country.”
“TiVo has transformed the television viewing experience for consumers giving them an unprecedented level of control over the programming they watch, and when they watch it and it does so in an incredibly easy to use and simple way,” added the president of TiVo. “It also provides endless entertainment options beyond cable and satellite.”
He said that TiVo had in Seven “a strong partner that understands that the future of television technology lies at the intersection between broadcast and broadband”.
Mark Hughes, general manager for TiVo with the Seven Network, which has created a subsidiary company to market the service, said they had imported at least enough of the products to satisfy the 15,000-20,000 people he said were waiting for the new Foxtel iQ digital video recorder.
The TiVo service represents something of a threat to the pay television platform, although Foxtel has been dismissive of the proposition. Patrick Delany, head of content, product development and delivery, at Foxtel said the free-to-air offering “hardly gives rise to the need for a DVR”.
TiVo high-definition digital video recorders will be sold nationally through Harvey Norman stores on a retail basis, without subscription, with updates delivered over broadband. The TiVo boxes will retail at AU$699.
They will be on sale just in time for the Olympic Games. Australia already has high-definition digital terrestrial television. In the last year over a million large flat screens were sold in Australia.