Aussie Tivo sales surprise retailer

Sales of the Australian version of the Tivo personal video recorder (PVR) are doing better than even its exclusive retailer, major electronics and home furnishings chain Harvey Norman, was expecting.

Executive chairman of the company, Gerry Harvey, told The Australian newspaper that his stores had sold three times the number of Tivos as he had been looking for, although he did not clarify sales figures. Tivo was launched in Australia in early July, with Harvey Norman's deal to sell the unit exclusive for the first six weeks of sales.

Sales will undoubtedly have been helped by Tivo’s Australian partner, Seven Network, running regular ads for the product during its Olympics coverage. Harvey said in his view the Olympics “have been a factor”, with sales of high definition televisions also strong.

Seven, which in common with rival networks Nine and Ten, has a stand-alone high definition channel free-to-air on Australia’s digital-terrestrial TV platform, has been screening its Olympics coverage in high definition as well as on its standard definition channel. According to figures from GfK, HDTVs accounted for 85% of all flat-panel TV sales in June.

Harvey said that sales of HDTVs were up by around 40% in the last few weeks and was “the only product I can think of at the moment that is selling like hotcakes”.