EL SEGUNDO, CA: Satellite television company DirecTV is about to unveil its own digital video recorder (DVR), setting up a showdown with former partner and DVR innovator TiVo.
But that's an angle the $11.3 billion company wants to avoid.
DirecTV would prefer to talk about the features and content its 14 million US subscribers will find with the new DVR. TiVo previously provided DVRs for DirecTV subscribers, but the relationship ended late last year.
VP of communications Bob Marsocci knows that reporters love a good fight, so the company will work hard to make sure the media don't just obsess on the rivalry with TiVo.
"That is our biggest challenge, to get the media to look beyond TiVo," said Marsocci. "TiVo has done a great job establishing itself as a brand that is synonymous with this category."
But DirecTV decided to go its own way to better control the look and feel of the DVR experience, and that is what the company will highlight.
TiVo was not available for comment.
While its DVR will not be available until late October or early November, DirecTV began its media outreach in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
As the launch date draws closer, DirecTV is increasing its outreach to current subscribers and consumer and tech media.
"We've been talking a lot about the brand and this product," said Erin Warady, a director with Paine PR, DirecTV's firm. "Once it launches, we're going to make sure that DirecTV is seen as more of a media and entertainment company, not just a technology company."