Monday, January 30

Geek Synergy

CNet wonders if Cisco Systems, which recently acquired two big home electronics companies, might be poised to buy TiVo.

The "news analysis" -- which suggests SlingMedia and Nintendo as other possible targets -- seems based on rank speculation. (The indirect quotes come from an unnamed source "familiar" with both companies who says nothing more interesting than that he sees "potential.") TiVolutionaries have long sought a white knight to save the company from its own mismanagement, but I just don't see it coming from Cisco.

Looking at Cisco's past acquisitions, their own strategy seems rather confused. While home networking leader Linksys does make direct-to-geek products (much like TiVo), corporate-minded cable box maker Scientific-Atlanta has never sold a box directly to the consumer. Of all the choices, I see the SlingBox maker as the most natural fit, although their underground content-sharing cred would not be welcomed by big providers, be they cable companies or network producers.

Update: In another head-scratcher, the NYPost says Google may buy Napster.

Update 2: As noted in the comments, hotshot Sling Media selected the folks behind Dish TV to fund their next big expansion. Go figger.