Networks Seek To Remove Commercial Skipping Ability From TV Viewers

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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October 11th, 2010

Today is DVR mania day.

With DVRs in nearly 40% of US households and with more and more viewers merrily skipping commercials, TV networks think they have a solution. They'll just take the DVRs (or the ability to skip commercials) away from you!

In a piece by LA Times Joe Flint (that you should read), he outlines part of the network's plan as given to him by CBS' David Poltrack.

"I call DVRs a transitional technology," said David Poltrack, the chief research officer of CBS. In an interview, Poltrack said the DVR will be supplanted by streaming and VOD that will "give the consumer the ability to watch shows any way they want to and to do so in a way that is much more advertiser-friendly." [i.e. no commercial skipping.]

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Those who would prefer to keep their DVRs won't escape ads either. Sooner or later the distributors will just make it impossible to skip commercials on shows recorded with DVRs.

I've always thought that VOD should have been pushed earlier and faster by the networks and / or the cable/satco providers and that would have substantially blunted the adoption of DVRs.

I'm sure given a cost savings plenty of folks would go for VOD vs. a DVR, but certainly not all. And as Flint notes, a "cost savings" to the consumer is a "revenue loss" for the cable or satellite company.

And given the rollout speed of VOD, even more consumers will get used to DVRs before it is a reasonable substitute.

For many, I think the DVR horse has already left the barn.

 
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