Frontier Communications has become the first MVPD to ink a deal to offer a co-branded version of the TiVo Roamio OTA, a new HD-DVR model from TiVo initially sold at retail that provides access to a mix of over-the-air broadcast TV and over-the-top content from sources such as Netflix and YouTube.
In a move that targets a group of so-called “cord-cutters” and consumers who have resisted subscribing to traditional pay-TV services, Frontier will pitch the Roamio OTA to its base of broadband-only customers starting in mid-2015. Frontier has about 2.37 million high-speed subs overall, a number that’s poised to shoot past 4.6 million after the telco completes a proposed $10.5 billion deal to buy wireline operations from Verizon Communications in parts of California, Florida and Texas.
TiVo introduced the $49.99 Roamio OTA DVR last August as a “limited edition” model, and expanded to full national distribution last month. TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers previously has acknowledged that TiVo has been talking with operators about an MVPD-optimized version of the OTA model, which does not contain a CableCARD slot, but is outfitted with 500 Gigabytes of storage, four tuners, Ethernet connectivity, and built-in 802.11n WiFi.