US digital video pioneer TiVo is reported to be close to a deal with number one cable operator Comcast.

The agreement, if it goes ahead, would lead to TiVo developing a version of its DVR service for Comcast to market to its 22 million subscribers.

TiVo, headquartered in Alviso, California, has three million paying customers who are able to record TV programs via a hard disk drive, skip commercials and pause live broadcasts [WAMN: 14-Mar-2005].

The deal would add much needed critical mass to TiVo in a marketplace where big players such as Rupert Murdoch's satellite service DirecTV and EchoStar are developing DVR services of their own.

Comcast in turn would benefit from a partnership that enables it to offer high-end TiVo DVRs to complement the DVR business it launched last year with boxes mostly manufactured by Motorola.

The negotiations, which neither party is willing to discuss, reflect consumer demand for DVR deals from cable and satellite companies. Many viewers like these deals because they allow them to rent rather than buy the the equipment.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff