TiVo's tale of two satcasters

Rogers hopeful of future relationship with DirecTV

As TiVo is wrapping up a contentious lawsuit against Dish, CEO Tom Rogers is hopeful of a broader relationship with DirecTV.

More than half of TiVo's nearly 4 million subscribers come by way of a deal struck years ago with DirecTV, but the satellite television provider stopped marketing TiVo after News Corp. took control of it.

But with Liberty Media purchasing News Corp.'s stake in DirecTV, Rogers said Thursday that changes could be afoot.

"With the ownership by Liberty now of DirecTV, it's a somewhat different environment -- I hope a more friendly environment than the one we faced when News Corp. was the majority owner of DirecTV," Rogers told Wall Street analysts at the annual Collins Stewart Growth Conference.

His remarks about the other force in satellite television, though, weren't quite as congenial. Not surprising since TiVo has been waging a patent war with EchoStar, now Dish, for several years.

TiVo has been winning, though investors don't seem to care that the DVR company could be on the verge of collecting a hefty settlement that some estimate could go higher than $300 million, or almost half of TiVo's market cap.

"The EchoStar litigation is now down to the enforcement phase," Rogers told the analysts. "This is not well understood. But we've won this case. We won this at the trial level; we won it at the appeals level. An en banc review by the entire court of appeals further upheld it."

TiVo next faces Dish at a hearing scheduled Sept. 4.
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