Some of you may be wondering if TiVo Suggestions (where the TiVo records, using free space, shows it things you might like), are bought and paid for. The main reason for this is that when there is a movie in theaters, you may get a bunch of related content from a TV show tied to the movie.
A perfect example of this is X-Files. There’s a new X-Files movie in theaters, and you may have noticed your TiVo suggesting the show a lot more now than in the past. Of course, you still need to have some affinity to sci-fi shows, so if you don’t like science fiction… you probably won’t see the X-Files.
TiVo has said that they do not take money in exchange for increased rates of suggestion. So, what’s going on here? Simple, really. Re-runs of TV shows always naturally increase when a show’s movie is in theaters.
The movie’s production company encourages TV networks to increase re-runs of a syndicated program during the theater campaign. They want people watching the show so that they will get more excited about the movie. Likewise, the network benefits from the promotion of the movie… people are then more likely to watch the TV show in syndication.
So, as a result, the TiVo’s algorithm is skewed naturally. There are more showings of X-Files during free slots where your TiVo would be idle. Since it knows you like sci-fi shows, your TiVo adds X-Files more often to its To Do List. And, thus, your TiVo is filled with episodes of X-Files much more than when there isn’t an X-Files movie in theaters.