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TiVo records narrower-than-expected losses

The company, whose service lets people record TV shows sans videotape, beats analyst expectations for the third quarter as revenue and its subscriber base grow.

TiVo, whose service lets people record TV shows sans videotape, beat analyst expectations for the third quarter as revenue and the company's subscriber base continued to grow.

On Thursday, the San Jose, Calif.-based start-up reported a net loss of $64 million, or $1.72 per share, for the third quarter. A consensus of analysts expected the company to lose $2.31 per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Revenue for the quarter crossed the $1 million mark for the first time, growing 39 percent over revenue of $719,000 in the previous quarter. In the third quarter last year, the company reported $33,000 in revenue.

The company's subscriber base also increased in the quarter from 48,000 to 73,000.

TiVo, along with ReplayTV, has carved out a niche in the nascent market for so-called digital VCRs, or digital video recorders. Essentially, these are set-top boxes with hard drives and specialized software that let people record TV programs. TiVo does not manufacture the set-top boxes. Instead, it sells a subscription service and partners with consumer electronics giants such as Sony and Philips Electronics, which make the actual boxes.

During the third quarter, the company struck a deal with satellite carrier DirectTV to market the service. TiVo also finalized a $200 million deal with AOL in which TiVo's service will be offered to AOLTV subscribers.

"Financially, we executed as planned, by reducing our cost of service per subscriber for the third consecutive quarter," TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay said in a statement.

Along with earnings, the company announced Thursday that Thomson Multimedia will incorporate TiVo's service into its RCA-brand digital video recorders. These boxes will go on sale in November at RadioShack stores.