TiVO and Showtime Networks bolster relationship, announce new equity investment
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - March 30, 1999 - TiVo Inc., an originator of personal television, today announced an equity investment by Showtime Networks Inc., a Viacom company. The financial investment, in addition to the existing content relationship, further signals Showtime Networks' support of TiVo and the Personal TV category as a way to enhance the value of premium programming to subscribers. TiVo's Personal TV service and special network promotions allow viewers to instantly "select it and automatically get it" so they can watch Showtime Networks programming at their convenience. With this investment, Showtime joins a group of prestigious investment partners such as Institutional Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Allegro Capital and Vulcan Ventures.
The TiVo Personal TV service significantly enhances the premium television experience for Showtime Networks subscribers by providing them an easy way to choose, automatically record and instantly access Showtime Networks' programs, special events and movies at their convenience. In addition, the TiVo service enables viewers to pause, rewind and create slow-motion effects from live Showtime Networks programming. Showtime Networks, which owns the premium television networks Showtime, The Movie Channel, and Flix, joins TiVo's many other content partners that include DIRECTV, E! Entertainment, General Motors, HBO, style, The Weather Channel and ZDTV, in propelling TiVo's approach to personal television.
"We are convinced that in order for consumers to have an extraordinary personal television experience, you must have superior technology," said Stacy Jolna, TiVo's vice president of programming and network relations. "But the most important part of the value equation is solid partnerships with the world's leading networks and entertainment programmers such as Showtime Networks. TiVo delivers it all."
"The personal television revolution is not something we have to wait for, it's here," said Jeff Morris, Showtime Networks' senior vice president of New Media and Technology Development. "As one of the leading providers of premium television programming, Showtime Networks has a commitment to providing our viewers with the optimum premium television experiences available in the marketplace today. Our investment in TiVo is simply an extension of that commitment."
For the first time, Showtime Networks' viewers will be able to use TiVo's patented service which allows viewers to easily create a personalized line-up of television programs, receive "smart" programming recommendations based on their preferences, and automatically choose and instantly access specific television programs at their convenience. In addition, the system enables viewers to pause, rewind and even control slow-motion effects from live television programs.
About Showtime Networks
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. SHOWTIME en Espaņol, a separate audio feed of SHOWTIME, is available for the Spanish-speaking audience. SNI also markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis.
TiVo, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. is the creator of personal television. TiVo's easy-to-use service and patented consumer electronics technology will allow consumers to take control of their television viewing experience by teaching TiVo their likes and dislikes. The TiVo service delivers their favorite shows and takes their preferences to make suggestions about other shows that may be of interest. For the first time ever, TiVo enables full control of live programs through the ability to pause, rewind, instant replay and playback in slow motion any broadcast. The company was founded in August 1997 by former Silicon Graphics Senior Vice President Michael Ramsay and Vice President James Barton, both of whom have been instrumental in earlier generation efforts of interactive video-on-demand systems and technology that has powered Hollywood special effects. TiVo's board of directors includes Stewart Alsop of New Enterprise Associates, Geoff Yang of Institutional Venture Partners and WebTV founding Director Randy Komisar. TiVo can be reached on the World Wide Web at www.tivo.com.