Digital video recorder supplier TiVo, which has been trying to extend the functionality of its latest hardware models by using their broadband connection to deliver new services, has formed a partnership with struggling movie rental firm Blockbuster that will allow TiVo customers to rent movies on an on-demand basis through the Internet.
Blockbuster, which has lost market share in the home entertainment space in recent years to DVD rental-by-mail service Netflix as well as cable video-on-demand services, entered the online movie space in 2007 with its acquisition of Movielink. It subsequently created the Blockbuster OnDemand service, which streams movies to a proprietary $99 set-top and competes with online movie services offered by Netflix as well as newcomer Vudu. Blockbuster says its "OnDemand" service will now be integrated into broadband-enabled TiVo DVRs, much as TiVo has already incorporated Amazon's movie service into its DVRs.
Blockbuster OnDemand, featuring content to both buy and rent, will be integrated into TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs and allow broadband-connected TiVo subscribers to access the service. The companies expect to have the Blockbuster OnDemand service integrated into TiVo DVRs in the second half of 2009.
As part of the deal, TiVo DVRs will be sold at thousands of Blockbuster stores nationwide as well as online at blockbuster.com. Additionally, the companies will implement a cross-marketing campaign.
"We are excited to be teaming with TiVo, the company that created the DVR, to make Blockbuster's entertainment content readily available to their millions of subscribers," said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our OnDemand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail service as well. Regardless of a film's availability - through VOD or on DVD - we want to work with TiVo to provide their subscribers unprecedented access to movie content."