Under the new initiative, TiVo users can choose to subscribe to Ryan’s picks, with TiVo automatically downloading her suggestions as highlighted in that day’s Tribune television grid, as well as brief video commentaries from Ryan herself.
The service will initially only be available to subscribers in the Chicago area, although TiVo is pursuing deals with other newspapers across the country.
As B&C reported in an April cover story, the number of television critics has been dwindling as newspapers look to cut costs and trim staff. Initiatives such as the Tribune-TiVo deal could be a way to keep professional critics relevant in a landscape dominated by new media, where anyone can post their thoughts on television shows online.
"This is another example of how TiVo continues to weave itself into the fabric of the media industry and helps to solve strategic issues faced by traditional media companies,” TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers said in announcing the initiative. “It is a pleasure to be working with the one of the nation's leading newspapers on such a revolutionary new concept. We have essentially used TiVo to build an interactive, technological bridge between television and print, unlocking value for both mediums in the process."
TiVo also announced that it struck a deal with Disney-ABC to offer movie rentals from Walt Disney Studios on-demand. The deal means that TiVo now has deals in place with all of the major movie studios. The Disney films will be available for 24 hours, with some in HD.