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A View from Brad King

TiVo, CBS Team Up for Promotion

Once feared by television executives, TiVo is becoming the darling of the industry.

  • September 6, 2006

TiVo has more lives than a cat.

Left for dead on numerous occasions, mainly because of lawsuits filed by a host of entertainment companies, TiVo continues to push ahead, this time striking a deal with CBS to promote new television shows.

Anyone who has used TiVo (or, now, its cable brethren: the digital video recorder) knows the wonders of the device. I’ve been hearing for years how it changed my friends’ television-watching habits because it allows them to record shows by name (instead of by time, although that feature is there). It recommends shows you might like. It comes with a hard drive for storage. It allows you to fast-forward through commercials. It’s an easy, usable tool for the consumer.

That’s exactly why the television industry didn’t like it: it made watching shows–and not watching commercials–too easy. For years, the contestants engaged in a legal war, with TiVo slowing losing ground to both the networks and cable companies (which launched their own versions of the device).

While the war between the three interests isn’t over, there appears to be at least one reconciliation. CBS announced it would promote a handful of its fall lineup shows directly to TiVo subscribers.

From the article:

“The Class” pilot will be delivered to TiVo subscribers along with a separate package of brief clips of CBS’s three other new series debuting this fall–hour-long dramas “Jericho,” “Smith,” and “Shark,” the two companies said on Tuesday.

“The Class,” about a twentysomething guy who rekindles friendships with several old third-grade pals, will be offered through TiVo on a commercial-free basis, followed by a string of one-minute promos for 11 returning CBS shows.

And it’s no surprise the network and TiVo are targeting a younger audience, since it’s these viewers who are the early adopters of technology.

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