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TiVo and NFL reach agreement
11/1/2004



TiVo friends and family members can now share programming they've recorded on TiVo. Courtesy of TiVo Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The National Football League and TiVo reached an understanding this week putting the league at ease over concerns that new models of the device with Internet connectivity could unravel a system of NFL broadcast rules protecting the interests of team owners and broadcast rights holders.

As reported in the Aug. 12 edition of Sports Technology Update, the NFL and a handful of others, including the Motion Picture Association of America, objected to FCC approval of a rule that would allow TiVo to include TiVoGuard Digital Output Protection Technology in future products. TiVoGuard is intended to allow TiVo users to share television programs via the Internet with as many as nine TiVo-owning family members or friends.

This week’s agreement between the league and TiVo represents an important milestone in the industry effort to ensure broadband content protection while advancing the interests of consumers.

The NFL expressed concern that the technology could potentially lead to piracy and real-time transmission of live NFL games to users in remote locations outside the local television market of the subscriber.

After discussions with TiVo, the NFL agreed that TiVo subscribers should be able to access their own recorded programming remotely from properties - such as vacation homes owned by those subscribers - and that doing so is both in the public interest and is a positive advancement in technology that should be encouraged. TiVo agreed to deploy new technology in a way that accommodates the NFL’s core concerns about real-time signal misuse.

Under their agreement, the NFL and TiVo will work together to protect live NFL games against real-time retransmission outside of the subscriber’s local television market while providing consumers with the ability to access their own recorded broadcast programming remotely after its initial airing. The NFL will also work with TiVo to develop unique NFL content for TiVo to provide to its subscribers.

The two companies also will consult on future technology to ensure that it continues to address the NFL’s concerns, including remote access in commercial locations and by persons other than TiVo subscribers’ families and acquaintances. After detailed discussions with TiVo, the NFL agreed that TiVo’s current technology will not allow real-time transmissions that would be a cause of concern for the NFL.

For more information, visit www.tivo.com.

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