TiVo Takes Tim Tebow Off the Bench for Investor Push
As with Tim Tebow and his limited playing time on the football field, TiVo chief executive Tom Rogers said at a Monday media conference that the digital video recording pioneer is not being properly lauded for its suite of capabilities, which includes DVR for cable and satellite operators, and broadband service that can connect to the likes of Amazon(AMZN) , Netflix(NFLX) and Hulu and can go mobile.
The company also has a media analytics unit that competes against marketing research giant Nielsen(NLSN) , and a portfolio of intellectual property it is litigating against the likes of Motorola and Cisco(CSCO) .
In the same way football fans and general managers don't give Tebow credit for his passing game, Rogers said at the UBS sponsored media conference that TiVo doesn't get enough credit for how the company connects to new forms of non-broadcast media.
In November, TiVo hired Tebow to be the company's spokesperson and in a web ad that can be seen on YouTube, Tebow makes the case for TiVo's multi-dimensional media capabilities. "It's not just a DVR,... it's a magic box," exclaims the Jets backup quarterback.
Given on field developments on Sunday in a challenged season for Tebow and the Jets, Rogers point is especially acute.
After Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in the first half of a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Coach Rex Ryan replaced Sanchez with third string quarterback Greg McElroy, who promptly led the Jets on a game-winning touchdown drive. Tebow, who is injured, did not play.
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In a quick follow up interview with TheStreet after his presentation, Rogers said that hiring Tebow as TiVo's spokesperson was inspired by his teenage son, who noted the phonetic similarities between the company's name and its quarterback spokesperson.
While Tebow's future with the Jets is now a point of speculation among football fans, Rogers is confident the former Heisman Trophy winner will make a strong case for the company. Rogers is also equally bullish on Tebow's football career as he seems to be about TiVo's earnings prospects. "He should be starting," Rogers told TheStreet, of Tebow's quarterback skills.
TiVo has already shown more promise than Tebow by beating third-quarter earnings estimates in November and it settled intellectual property disputes with Verizon(VZ) in the fall, chalking up some investor yardage.
Rogers spent the good portion of an hour long presentation at the UBS conference explaining to investors why the company's products, patents and technologies have it well positioned as consumers move to mobile devices and are tempted by over-the-top media outside of traditional cable packages.