Job cuts come to TiVo

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange commission yesterday, DVR pioneer TiVo showed that it is reducing the size of its work force to cope with the economic turmoil.

TiVo's plan to reduce operational expenses relies almost exclusively on layoffs, as the company said in its SEC filing yesterday. TiVo expects to incur around a million dollars in severance and outplacement costs. It says economic conditions, and a "rapidly evolving retail consumer market" have necessitated the reductions.

Despite unveiling new features to its broadband connected TiVo platform on a nearly weekly basis, TiVo reports a lower-than-expected subscriber acquisition rate in the second quarter of 2009. More developments in the long-running DVR patent litigation with EchoStar have also arisen. Though EchoStar was ordered to pay TiVo $104 million to settle the nearly four-year old patent dispute, Dish Network today has made even more DVR products available, with a "legal" workaround...its legality, however, has yet to be tested in court, and could cost TiVo yet more in legal fees.

TiVo has posted a net loss every year it has existed, but has typically covered its operating expenses from its deep well of cash. It has always been perceived as a company on the brink of extinction, and the effect the current economic climate has had on similarly positioned companies does not bode well for it.

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