FORMER NBC EXEC NAMED TIVO PRESIDENT

Martin Yudkovitz Wants to 'Bury the Hatchet' With Cable Rivals

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In an effort to explore alliances within the cable and satellite TV industries, TiVo has named Martin Yudkovitz, a 20-year veteran of NBC, its new president. Mr. Yudkovitz founded NBC Digital and was heavily involved in the launch of both CNBC and MSNBC.

Headquartered in Alviso, Calif., TiVo is a pioneer in the digital video recorder (DVR) field and has yet to turn a profit. Along with continuing loses it is now beset with competition from cable operators that are beginning to offer non-TiVo DVR services to their subscribers.

Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable, for instance,

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this week launched a marketing campaign for its digital entertainment services that include DVRs. The DVR service is offered in 15 of Time Warner Cable's 32 service markets and as of March 31 had 100,000 subscribers. TiVo reports it has 625,000 subscribers.

With the hiring of Mr. Yudkovitz, TiVo is clearly searching for ways to work with -- rather than compete with -- cable and satellite operators as they move into on-demand and set-top digital recorder services.

Mr. Yudkovitz will replace Morgan Guenther, who left TiVo earlier this year.

"The burden is on us to prove to cable and satellite companies that TiVo is a more powerful and customizable tool than they might be aware," Mr. Yudkovitz said.

A 'minefield'
He conceding that the cable, network and satellite landscape is a "minefield" and that TiVo may have to work to mend fences.

"What we want to do is to take this huge unharvested opportunity to bury the hatchet, if there's one that needs to be buried, and create a whole new image in the industry for what TiVo is," he said.

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