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TiVo Roots for Tim Tebow After NY Jets Release

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TiVo (TIVO) is standing behind Tim Tebow, the former New York Jets backup quarterback and company pitchperson, after his release from the restructuring football team.

"Regarding Tim's relationship with TiVo, it goes beyond football and we'll just have to see how things develop. We're pulling for him," Steve Wymer, a TiVo spokesperson, said in an e-mailed statement Monday.

"As are many football and Tim Tebow fans, we're eager to hear where Tim will be playing next year."

In late 2012, TiVo unveiled Tebow as the DVR pioneer's pitchperson to investors and consumers in a set of commercials played on YouTube and broadcast networks nationally.

While Tebow and TiVo have a phonetic resemblance, company chief executive Tom Rogers said in December the former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida and the TV-on-demand company are also similarly underappreciated by the public at large.

Just as NFL scouts may discount Tebow's diverse set of quarterback and running skills, Rogers said Wall Street similarly doesn't give credit to TiVo's suite of products and earnings drivers.

Rogers said at an early December media conference sponsored by UBS (UBS), TiVo was not being properly lauded for its full set of media capabilities, which includes DVR for cable and satellite operators and broadband service that can connect to the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu and can go mobile.

TiVo's products, patents and technologies have it well positioned as consumers move to mobile devices and are tempted by over-the-top media outside of traditional cable packages, Rogers said at the UBS conference on Dec. 3.

TiVo hired Tebow to make its case in November of 2012, amid a tumultuous season for the quarterback and his former team, the New York Jets.

"We are going to make a better use of [Tebow] than the Jets have this season," said Rogers at the conference, after third string quarterback Greg McElroy took Tebow's position on the Jets depth charts.

In a quick followup interview with TheStreet after his December presentation, Rogers said hiring Tebow as TiVo's spokesperson was inspired by his teenage son, who noted the phonetic similarities between the company's name and its quarterback spokesperson.

"He should be starting," Rogers told TheStreet, of Tebow's quarterback skills.

TiVo continues to support Tebow, even as the quarterback searches for a new team.

For the Jets, Tebow's release indicates continued restructuring of its roster after two disappointing seasons.

In the 2013 National Football League draft, the Jets picked University of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the 39th pick overall. Earlier in April, the Jets traded pro-bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 13th pick of the draft.

Last year, Tebow made $2.1 million in salary, as part of a five-year $11 million deal he signed with the Denver Broncos in 2009 upon being drafted in the first round out of University of Florida.

Appearing in 12 games in the 2012 season fo the Jets, Tebow threw eight passes, completing six of them for 39 yards, with no touchdowns. He also rushed 32 times for 102 yards, also with no touchdowns.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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