Video On Demand With Commercials But No Fast Forward Could Keep DVRs At Bay, So Why Aren't Networks Moving Faster?

Categories: New TV Technology

Written By

July 23rd, 2009

I've long thought that television networks best "defense" against commercial skipping DVRs is to make all their programs available on demand immediately after airing with a full commercial load, but without fast forward capability. Customers wouldn't be charged extra per month, like they are with DVRs in most cases, and I think it would really take the wind out of DVR use/penetration, which would be a good thing for television networks.

Not that it would change my behavior, nor probably that of most people reading our site, but for the ~70% of US households who currently don't have a DVR many would likely opt for free universal VOD vs. a monthly fee DVR.

In the report of this initial trial of Cox cable customers and Turner (TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network) programs the results look pretty good from the network's perspective.

However, television networks (perhaps slowed by cable MSOs?)  have moved *so* slowly on this that in practice I don't think they're going to have much success vs. the continuing adoption of DVRs.

Cox's "MyPrimetime On Demand" video-on-demand service -- one that has its fast-forwarding function disabled -- has grabbed high scores among consumers, according to the cable operator, including lifting Turner network programs 10% in viewership.Cox's "On Demand" programming is available free to select Cox digital cable customers a day after the shows' first run on linear broadcast.

A full load of commercials was included, and the companies say viewership increased 10% for an average program within three days, viewership that counted toward Nielsen commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback (C3), the current currency for national TV advertisers.Cox says 80% of its customers are satisfied with the experience. Another positive for TV networks: Cox says 20% of its consumers say if the show was not available with its VOD service, they would not have recorded it via their DVR. Another 27% would not have watched the show at all.

via MediaPost

 
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