NBC adds TiVo play

Net quadruples stake in vid recorder firm

NBC revealed Friday it has nearly quadrupled the stake it owns in digital video recorder maker TiVo.

The Peacock becomes the third largest shareholder in TiVo, behind AOL Time Warner and DirecTV.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, NBC said it owns 4 million shares, or 8.3%, of the Silicon Valley-based TiVo, but that it has no plans to acquire the rest of the company or to control its management.

In December, NBC owned 1 million shares in TiVo, much of which it had acquired in 1999 for $7.5 million. The web paid an additional $10 million last August to up its stake in TiVo. At that time, TiVo announced a private placement of $51.75 million of convertible debt and warrants with unspecified investors. During that period, DirecTV also upped its stake in the company to 11%.

“NBC acquired the securities of the company as an investment, and holds them in the ordinary course of business and not with the purpose or effect of changing control of the company,” NBC said in the filing.

Other investors in TiVo include satcasting partner DirecTV and Discovery Communications, as well as Sony and Philips, who build TiVo’s set-top boxes.

TiVo recorders enable subscribers to pause, rewind and fast-forward live TV programs using a hard drive housed inside a set-top box. As of Jan. 31, the company had 380,000 subscribers, who pay $12.95 a month to use the service.

TiVo stock has taken investors on a wild ride since the company went public in 1999 at $16 per share. Shares climbed as high as $78 in January, 2000, before beginning a precipitous fall into the single digits.

Shares of TiVo rose 6¢ on Friday to close at $5.18, a gain of 1%.

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