TiVo ( TIVO) was handed a legal setback as EchoStar ( SATS) won a stay request from a U.S. appeals court Wednesday. TiVo shares fell 13% Thursday after EchoStar was granted a suspension of an order to shut down the DVR service to some 4 million users. As TheStreet warned last month, investors who sent TiVo's stock up 47% on an earlier federal court decision against TiVo may not see a quick settlement anytime soon. The stay was granted pending the results of EchoStar's appeal. TiVo said it was confident it would ultimately win the case and expects to be awarded further damages. "We are pleased that the court recognizes the urgency of ruling on this appeal and has ordered an expedited briefing schedule." Most appeals take a year or more, so presumably an expedited hearing would take less than a year. "This pushes out TiVo's day of reckoning," says Wedge Partners analyst Brian Coyne, who has been following the case closely since its beginning in 2004. "People were looking for a quick pop, and that's not going to happen." Last month, a federal court shot down EchoStar's argument that it had created a successful solution that works around TiVo's DVR technology. The court awarded TiVo $103 million, which is on top of the $105 million payment that EchoStar parent Dish Network ( DISH) made to TiVo a year ago. EchoStar has been on the losing end of nearly every court ruling in its TiVo challenge. But at each turn, the satellite TV shop has appealed the decisions and prolonged the battle.
To TiVo investors, this has been a thorny case. But many bulls continue to hold out hope that TiVo will win a massive cash settlement from EchoStar and then seek additional settlements from other TV service providers. But Coyne says EchoStar still has a few options at its disposal. While this case could end with a licensing agreement between TiVo and EchoStar or a settlement, EchoStar could also decide to use another manufacturer's DVR equipment. Set-top boxes made by Motorola ( MOT) and Cisco's ( CSCO) Scientific-Atlanta use a "fundamentally different" video recording and so-called time shifting technology, Coyne says. "There are multiple ways to skin the DVR cat," says Coyne.