Tivo company Rovi filed eight new patent infringement lawsuits against Comcast over its X1 platform, a key component of the provider's pay-TV and OTT strategy.
In its lawsuits, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Rovi alleges that Comcast's X1 "infringes technology invented and patented by Rovi," according to today's press release. Rovi claims features such as restarting live programming while it's in progress, advanced DVR recording features, advanced search and voice capabilities, and resuming shows on different devices are owned by Rovi Corp.
"Hundreds of media and entertainment leaders around the world recognize the value of our innovations by selecting our products and services and licensing our intellectual property," said Enrique Rodriguez, TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) president and CEO, in the release. "Our goal is for Comcast to renew its long-standing license so it can continue providing its customers the many popular features Rovi invented."
To more effectively compete against over-the-top providers, cable operators increasingly leverage their DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber investments to deliver enhanced capabilities via set-top boxes, such as Comcast X1. The set-top box also is a door into subscribers' smart home investments; the combination of existing relationship with households and ability to deliver IoT-enabled entertainment as part of these connected home solutions is a powerful tool for cablecos.
Simultaneously, as more consumers cut the cord, watch shows via apps or use cablecos' on-demand capabilities, Tivo is seen as less relevant in some circles. Its licensing arrangements are, therefore, critical.
Tivo also plans to file more legal actions related to the Comcast X1 and patents: These include a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that will prevent Comcast from importing more X1 set-top boxes into the US. In November 2017, the ITC ruled against Comcast, stating the provider infringed two Rovi patents and issuing an exclusion order that bars the importation and sale of relevant X1 boxes.
In that November lawsuit, ITC ruled Comcast's X1 platform infringed Tivo patents that allow users to use an app to schedule recordings. ITC determined Comcast did not infringe upon four other patents at that time. In response, Comcast opted to remove the scheduling capability, something only few subscribers had adopted, it said. This step allowed Comcast to continue offering the X1 platform to subscribers during its appeal.
For 13 years, Comcast licensed Rovi's patents but when the deal expired and the cableco opted not to renew it in March 2016, Tivo began suing the operator. The contract was valued at $250 million, Tivo said.
Tivo filed the lawsuit on the same day analysts released their earnings forecasts for the company. When averaged together, four analysts expect Tivo will report $241.7 million in revenue for the current quarter compared with $279.42 million in the year-ago quarter, reported The Ripon Advance. On the high end of the average, revenue forecast came in at $317.4 million; on the low end, at least one analyst predicted revenue of $206 million for this period.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.