Rising legal costs push TiVo into the red

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(Global Markets) - TiVo Inc (TIVO.O) reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and forecast another loss for the current quarter as the maker of digital television recorders fights costly legal battles to protect its patents.

The company faces rising legal costs as it fights patent lawsuits against a number of companies, including Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), Motorola Mobility Inc and Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N), related to its video recording technology.

A big part of TiVo's business relies on money it generates from settlements it receives protecting its intellectual property.

TiVo settled a patent lawsuit with Verizon's rival AT&T Inc (T.N) in January, after the wireless operator agreed to pay the company at least $215 million as well as monthly licensing fees.

Legal costs are expected to rise sharply in the second quarter as the company prepares to go to trial with Verizon, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in an interview with Global Markets.

TiVo, whose brand is synonymous with digital video recorders, also expects to ramp up spending on marketing as it rolls out a digital video recording product with Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), Rogers said.

The company forecast a second-quarter net loss of $28 million to $30 million, while analysts were expecting a $16 million loss, according to Thomson Global Markets I/B/E/S.

Net loss for the first quarter was $20.8 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with a profit of $139 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

In the year ago quarter, TiVo's profit included a one-time payment of $175.7 million from DISH Network Corp (DISH.O) related to the settlement of another patent infringement lawsuit.

Revenue rose 48 percent to $67.8 million. Total subscriptions rose by 524,000, or 27 percent, to about 2.5 million. Operating costs more than doubled to $54.2 million.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 15 cents per share on revenue of $54.9 million, according to Thomson Global Markets I/B/E/S.

TiVo sells its own set-top boxes and also licenses its technology to cable operators such as Virgin Media, Charter, DirecTV (DTV.O), Ono, RCN and Suddenlink.

TiVo shares, which have fallen 13 percent in the last year, were down 3 percent at $8.70 in after-market trade. They closed at $8.96 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair)