April 18, 2005 4:00 AM PDT
Search giants court TiVo
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The talks are still fluid and could result in a number of outcomes, two sources familiar with the negotiations said.
One scenario that's been discussed would see TiVo partner with Google or Yahoo on a new service that would let consumers search for videos on the Web and then watch them on their television sets, according to one person with knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Digital video recorder company TiVo is talking with Internet search giants Google and Yahoo about a possible deal aimed at bridging television and the Web, CNET News.com has learned.
A partership between TiVo and a major Internet search engine would offer expansion opportunities for both. TiVo has long talked about becoming the "Google of TV," and Google and Yahoo are investing heavily in video services.
A second person familiar with the talks said TiVo has held talks with both Google and Yahoo about a potential equity investment, including the possibility of an outright acquisition. Any deal would likely be exclusive, this source said, Nothing has been finalized, however, and the talks could yet fall apart.
"A deal to cooperate could happen quickly, but then the details would have to be worked out," the first source said. "The search companies need to work with companies like TiVo because they have access to the living room, and they own a television interface."
A TiVo representative declined to comment for this report. Jennifer Feikin, director of Google Video, said she could not comment on any TiVo talks at this time. Yahoo spokeswoman Kathryn Kelly said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.
A partnership between TiVo and a major Internet search engine would offer expansion opportunities for both. TiVo has long talked about becoming the "Google of TV," eventually enabling its 3 million subscribers to search for and watch any broadcast or broadband media. Though TiVo opened the door for video downloads straight from the Web, it does not yet offer such a feature.
Meanwhile, Google and Yahoo are investing heavily in video services.
Google this week began soliciting video submissions to its searchable broadcast archives, inviting small and major producers alike to host or sell playback of their work using its servers. The project builds on
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