ONO becomes latest TiVo customer
By Julian Clover

TiVo is to become the exclusive software provider on all next generation set-top boxes to be deployed by the Spanish cableco ONO. Like Virgin Media, which announced a similar agreement earlier this year, ONO plans to offer its subscribers a seamless convergence between the internet and linear television content.

Likewise, ONO becomes an exclusive distributor of the TiVo technology, which will be supplied with both PVR and non-PVR devices. The two companies will then work together on the development of applications for the Spanish marketplace. According to Rosalía Portela, the CEO of ONO, “Working with a strategic partner of the stature of TiVo, a pioneer and innovator in the development of a converged recording system and in the implementation of a new model of television in other countries, allows us to make the leap to launching the next generation of TV in the market. Our fibre optic network combined with the capacity of TiVo will position us at the cutting edge of advanced next generation services for the Internet and Television.”

Customers will be able to use TiVo’s software to search for a potentially limitless array of content. They will also enjoy features family to TiVo subscribers in the United States, such as Season Pass and WishList searches.

“We are extremely proud to be selected as ONO’s strategic partner for its next generation video experience and believe that together we can offer the most compelling video product in the Spanish marketplace,” said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo Inc. “Building on our recent announcement with Virgin Media in the UK, this deal demonstrates the growing proliferation of TiVo as the most compelling solution for television providers seeking to differentiate their service through a best-in-class user experience and a world of content that integrates broadcast and broadband television to go well beyond the confines of traditional pay television.”

ONO and TiVo will also be working with other technology providers including Nagravision and Cisco on the implementation of the TiVo platform. Nagravision may be sorry that it was unable to convince ONO of the merits of its OpenTV middleware. It has already lost out to NDS in the deployment of Liberty Global/UPC’s next generation devices.

ONO was an early Liberate customer, but more recently has opted for a Mirada developed EPG that ran on Motorola set-top boxes.