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TiVo’s Loss Is Smaller Than Estimates on Subscriber Gains

TiVo Inc., the digital-video recorder pioneer, posted a second-quarter loss that was smaller than analysts estimated after signing more new subscribers.

The net loss of $27.7 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $19.6 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, Alviso, California-based TiVo said yesterday in a statement. Analysts projected a 24-cent loss, the average of 12 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Cable operators are licensing TiVo technology for use in set-top boxes that connect to the Internet and access content from Netflix and others. General Communication Inc., based in Anchorage, Alaska, on Aug. 21 became the latest operator to adopt the TiVo platform for subscribers. Even in tough economic times, consumers are willing to pay for broadband services, Tom Rogers, TiVo’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

“Broadband is one of those things that people are finding room for in their budgets, and what TiVo does is bring the benefits of broadband video to the television,” Rogers said.

TiVo rose as much as 9.8 percent to $10.28 in extended trading after results were announced. The shares fell 1.9 percent to $9.36 yesterday in New York and have gained 4.3 percent this year.

TiVo enrolled 253,000 new cable and satellite customers, compared with a gain of 10,000 a year earlier. Revenue rose 6.6 percent to $65.3 million in the period ended July 31.

Comcast Corp., the second-largest U.S. cable operator, will begin offering TiVo service in Sacramento, California; Portland, Oregon; Denver and other markets this year, TiVo said.

Add-On Box

On Sept. 6, TiVo plans to begin selling its $130 Stream add-on box, which reformats content on TiVo Premiere set-top boxes and uses home networks to stream shows to mobile devices.

This quarter, TiVo forecasts a loss of $27 million to $29 million, as the company spends more in a patent lawsuit against Verizon Communications Inc. set to go to trial in October. That was more than the $19.8 million loss estimated by analysts.

The company also said it expects to make progress toward breakeven on a cash-flow basis as research spending declines and revenue from cable systems increases in the latter part of the year.

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