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3'Oclock High: Thumps and Mailbag

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Fridays will remain "weird" until further notice

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Minyan Billy "My-beatings-will-continue-until-my-morale-improves" Meehan sends THIS link regarding TIVO's apparent decision to begin charging a $150 "commitment fee" to free-standing customers who choose to drop TIVO service. He then writes ("verbally grunts"):

"Any comment on this?"

MBop,

I know what you were trying to say with that. "It's been a while since you picked at the festering portfolio sore that is your TiVO position" you implied.

With your subtle personal font (hippie chick), you further suggested, "Didn't these jokers just announce an intent to focus on driving sales in the free-standing division? This seems like a move designed specifically to drive people away from buying free-standing TiVO boxes. You must really feel humiliated. Please talk about that."

I'll slake your thirst for my suffering, Billy, but you have made a powerful enemy here today. You have been added to The List, right below Shobin.

I think TiVO is dashing in the wrong direction with their free-standing box initiative. The board is absolutely begging for a dissident shareholder fight. The poison pill in place is likely the only thing stopping it.

The number of DirecTV (DTV) subrscribers using TiVO figures to be very strong for at least this quarter. I bought a new TiVO box at Best Buy (BBY) this week (the DirecTV type, non-HD). It was $100 before a $100 rebate from DirecTV. So the box cost me our absurd local sales taxes and $5 per month.

DTV is running through the inventory of DirecTiVO boxes, effectively by buying it out on behalf of the customer. DTV still has to pay TiVO for the installed base, regardless of wanting to switch customers over to the vaporhardware DVRs from NDS Group (NNDS). That base will give TiVO more than enough money to stay alive, at least until the Comcast (CMCSA) deal kicks in next year.

TiVO will flush that cash down the fetid abyss that is the free-standing division, of course, but I'm still betting they find a way to survive until they get swallowed.

"I must break him" -Drago

Just thinking about TiVO makes me long for the vicarious thrill of watching two huge guys hitting each other [pointing at my eyes then pointing at Meehan].

Thankfully, there's the Wlad Klitscho - Samuel Peter fight on HBO tomorrow night. Young Wlad is a +140 underdog but is being trained by the gnome-like boxing genius, Emanuel Steward. It's generally wise to avoid betting 'dogs in boxing but I like the comparitively-experienced Wlad. [ Not advice and intended for Minyans from New Jersey, Nevada and Antigua only, please.]

"Careful, Clarice. People will say we are in love"

In yesterday's Buzz, I wrote: "Prof. McGuirk, Young Superfly seems to have your night-time habits (awake all night and vocal about it). If he didn't already outweigh you I'd have some tough questions. As it is, 'happy birthday' and good-on-ya, mate!"

In response, Prof. McGuirk expressed his surprise at hearing from me, wondering if "the golf courses are closed today?"

Only after I looked into the matter, discovered the course to in fact be open for business and began driving out for a quick 18 did I realize that I had been manipulated into going golfing by the wiley little Ozzie. I apologize on Laurie's behalf (and my own, to what little extent I had any control in the matter) for there being no column from me yesterday.

Ironically, it was while golfing that it occurred to me "Sometime late in the day" was a sub-optimal schedule, in terms of making it easy for people to find me.

Given that my Randoms Knock-Off column was described as being "tedious" and "beneath (even)" me just this morning, I can only assume there is huge pent up demand out there, waiting to be bored and/or confused by my verbal stylings, but unable to find them.

So it was decided by the Minyanville Editorial Team (me and my golf ball) that we will be delivering my 1000-odd words of tedium on a regular pace of 4 days a week and releasing it at 3pm, NYC time, starting on Monday.

I apologize in advance.

Position in TIVO, BBY

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