It’s hard to begrudge TiVo CEO Tom Rogers for sounding cocky on a day when his company’s stock shot up 10.1%. That was the result of last night’s announcement that AT&T agreed to pay $215M to resolve the DVR pioneer’s patent infringement law suit. The victory, following a similar one last year with Dish Network, means “we won’t hesitate to be as aggressive as we need to be” with other challenges including one against Verizon, Rogers told bankers and analysts at Citigroup’s Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference. The news helped to support his larger theme that TiVo has finally turned the corner after years of declining subscriptions and financial losses. “We are getting much, much closer to our goal of EBITDA (cash flow) profitability,” Rogers says. TiVo subscriptions will rise as the company establishes itself as an ally for cable and satellite providers who feel threatened by Google and Apple’s efforts to break into the TV business. Earlier Wednesday Charter CEO Mike Lovett told the Citigroup audience that his company’s plan to offer TiVo DVRs is “a game changer” and “a way to take it to the competition and win back (market) share.” DirecTV is preparing to widely offer a TiVo service to its customers, and Comcast isn’t far behind. “Google has been a source of fear in the cable marketplace,” Rogers said — especially after the Internet giant agreed to buy Motorola Mobility, the leading supplier of cable set top boxes. Rogers questioned whether federal antitrust officials will allow Google to keep the cable box operation: “I’m not sure anybody knows what will happen to Motorola down the road.” Meanwhile Rogers says that he’d consider using his new cash to repurchase TiVo shares, or for acquisitions, although “we don’t feel a particular urgency.”
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