Analyst: EchoStar should buy TiVo

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 8:45am
Brian Santo

EchoStar, which has been in a patent battle with TiVo for nearly six years over, could solve its problems with the DVR pioneer by buying it, one analyst is suggesting.

TiVo’s claims that EchoStar is infringing its patents were upheld by an appeals court last month.

EchoStar now has limited choices, writes CitiGroup analyst Jason Bazinet: Pay the royalties, develop another workaround that avoids the TiVo patents (the first workaround didn’t pass legal muster) – as EchoStar said it intends to do after losing the appeals court decision – or buy TiVo and merge it with Sling Media, which EchoStar bought last year.

Bazinet says there are four factors in favor of his recommendation: “1) Likely legal victory for TiVo; 2) Synergies between Sling and TiVo; 3) Q209 EchoStar indemnification from TiVo liabilities; and 4) De-risking of Dish’s business on the heels of a TiVo win.”

There is plenty of downside, Bazinet notes, however. The finances might not work out all that well, especially given that EchoStar still does the vast majority of its box business – nearly 85 percent – with its sister operation, Dish Network.

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•  Motorola solves 3-D TV problem
•  Analyst: EchoStar should buy TiVo
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•  Broadband Briefs for 04/12/10



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