Direct service to offer PGA Tour p'gramming
Digital video recording service TiVo has partnered with cabler Starz Encore Group to jointly develop subscription video on demand and pay-per-view services.TiVo has also partnered with the PGA Tour to create 30 minutes of merchandise and promotion-oriented programming to be imbedded in TiVo set-top boxes before sale in a service called TiVo Direct. The PGA partnership represents the first use of TiVo for TV commerce applications. Viewers will have the option to watch the PGA Tour programming when they hook up the machine. PGA Tour will share a portion of the proceeds generated with TiVo. Letter of intent Starz Encore, which will also participate in the TiVo Direct program, has signed a letter of intent with TiVo for an S-VOD service and PPV video on demand for broadband subscribers of the TiVo service. The S-VOD service involves a monthly fee for which subscribers get access to a batch of movies that can be individually recorded and stored on the TiVo system and played back at the subscribers’ convenience. Starz Encore, an equity investor in TiVo, struck a similar deal with TiVo competitor Replay Networks in February. Rights issue Stacy Jolna, chief programming officer and veep of media partnerships for TiVo, said it was not clear when the Starz Encore service would be made available, noting that Starz Encore is responsible for getting studio permission and rights to distribute the movies in this manner. Starz Encore has been embedding S-VOD rights into its contracts with studios in the last couple of years and said earlier that it hoped to have an S-VOD or broadband PPV VOD service ready to introduce by early next year.