TiVo joins forces with Netflix

Subscribers of both services can stream content for free

TiVo and Netflix finally partnered up to stream about 12,000 movie and television titles to TV sets.

The two pioneering new-media companies first acknowledged four years ago they were looking into such a move, but nothing had come of it until Thursday.

The companies said Netflix subscribers who are also owners of one of the three latest broadband-connected HD TiVo boxes can stream content on-demand at no extra charge beyond what they pay for their Netflix and TiVo subscriptions.

TiVo has 3.6 million subscribers and Netflix has 8 million.

Both Netflix and its primary competitor, Blockbuster, have been positioning themselves for the day when consumers regularly use Internet technology for viewing content on-demand either on their computers or TV screens.

Netflix, in fact, has a standalone box from electronics maker Roku, and such functionality has also been built into the XBox 360 game console and a Blu-ray player from LG.

And TiVo has also been going down that road, having been a partner with Amazon VOD, a service Amazon used to call Unbox.

News of the TiVo-Netflix partnership had stock in both companies popping on Thursday. TiVo shares rose 11.3% to $6.60 and Netflix shares were up 4.7% to $22.78.

"Joining forces with Netflix creates the ultimate video-on-demand service," said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers.