ABC Says People Wouldn't Mind If TiVos Can No Longer Fast Forward

from the did-Jamie-Kellner-get-a-job-there? dept

It was about four years ago that Turner Broadcasting's chief, Jamie Kellner, made his famous statement about people who channel surf during commercials or who go to the bathroom are "stealing" television. He was eventually ousted from Turner, but it sounds like his spirit lives on at ABC. Slashdot points out that ABC TV execs have been talking about ways to ban people from using their DVRs to skip commercials. Of course, if they did so, they'd probably have to license the patent from Philips. What's amazing is that ABC execs actually think this is a reasonable strategy. In fact, ABC's head of ad sales actually claimed that consumers don't really care about the commercial skip feature:
"I'm not so sure that the whole issue really is one of commercial avoidance. It really is a matter of convenience--so you don't miss your favorite show. And quite frankly, we're just training a new generation of viewers to skip commercials because they can. I'm not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials. I don't fundamentally believe that. People can understand in order to have convenience and on-demand (options), that you can't skip commercials."
Apparently, he wasn't paying attention to the backlash Philips got just for patenting this idea (even with no intention of making a product). How many times does it need to be said that pissing off your users is the worst way to build a business these days -- especially in an age where there are many, many, many more choices for someone's time and attention?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    anonymous coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    people that have never had the TV experience with the ability to skip or ffw commercials, don't know any better, but once you have that ability, you would never give it up.

    i use Sage TV as my PVR and I don't even have to ffw, it has a plug-in that identifies commercial segments and automatically skips over them during playback. even if i watch something "real time" i start watching 20-30 minutes late, so i can skip commercials and end up at the end of the show at the same time...

     

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    jdw242, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    what the f...

    what demented reality do these execs live in?
    Am I the only person that remembers that most VCRs had (have) a commercial skip button that essentially does the same thing, only lo-fi? That wasn't attacked by the network hoo-dee-doos was it?

    Hey, ABC (and other network wanna be's); stop wasting my time and start doing product placements. I barely watch your network anyway, so what do you have to lose?

     

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    Musikaman, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    Yeah, I already have an AIW card, looks like my PC will be recording more shows soon.

     

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    Neal, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:44pm

    Re: what the f...

    At least in the lo-fi ffw on your VCR you still see the commercials and the subliminal messages hidden within. It doesn't matter how fast it goes, they still get their brainwashing message in. Buy me, buy me, buy me...and so on and so forth.

     

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    Mike, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    On principal, I don't mind commercials

    that much. Someone has to pay for the programming, and if commercials can simply be skipped, it will be you and me footing the bill, not the advertisers. 4000% hike in your cable bill anyone?
    Having said that, advertisers really need to improve their standards. I’ve seen funny, entertaining commercials. They can be done. But most just leave me fast forwarding through them, as they are hideous. When you have a live, captive audience, maybe you can get away with it. Now, you simply can’t.
    And regardless how good the commercial is, if you show it 10 times in an hour long show, people are going to hate it by the end.

     

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    J, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:50pm

    I've been using a DVR in one form or another for over 5 years now and there is absolutely no way I would put up with not being able to skip commericals. If they did manage to force the tech on us then I would either get the show via BT or simply not watch it. Period.

    The main issue though is how many commercials they inundate us with now. A 60 minute show now has 40 minutes of content and 20 minutes of commercials. It's ridiculous. If it was something more reasonable like 5 minutes of commercials in a 60 minute show then I would maybe not bother with skipping them. But there's no freakin way I'm spending 1/3 of my time watching commercials.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    As someone else said, I "time shift" by waiting 20 minutes before sitting and watching the show.

    My wife and I HATE watching "live" TV - if we have to watch commercials now, we'd rather not watch the show at all.

    Move to a different model - one that's not 50 years old ... look at The Apprentice - the whole show is about corporate sponsorship - how much do those corporations pay to have the Apprentice teams do this or that for them.

    Here's an idea - sell TV shows the same way you sell pay per view movies. I'll pay a couple bucks to watch Lost. I don't give $.02 about the other 22 prime time ABC shows.

    Good shows = $$.

    ps. Take away my fast forward, I forget to watch your network at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    Ford to eliminate the trunk.

    The reasoning goes, that people primarily only use their cars to go from one place to another. Mostly, they don't use the trunk. So Ford is considering eliminating it, certain that consumers won't mind.

    This is ridiculous, of course, and illustrates that ABC's "Ram it down consumers' throats" actions will only work if the other networks push it, too. If the other networks do not do this, ABC's ratings will plunge. If they do, we will be stuck. It's fine to say "I won't watch," but the vast majority of weak sheeple will watch. And so will you, probably.

     

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    NGUVU, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    I hate commercials...

    but sometimes I'll stop fastforwarding and watch one if it looks good. However, if I am watching a football game, I will pause it for about 20 minutes or so so I can skip through the commercials and halftime. When something you want to watch takes 3 hours to air, and 40 minutes of that is bull$hit - then I find it fundamental to own a DVR to save 40 minutes of your life here on earth. ABC can suck my a$$...

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    It's particularly laughable coming from ABC...

    Here in the UK we get ABC1, and of the "free" channels available it is absolutely the worst, bar none, for commercials. And, most irritatingly, more than half the commercial time is spent plugging their own programmes!

    Not "specials", you understand, but just several ad breaks in a half hour comedy spot to remind you that comedy show is on every day - in fact, you're watching it now! (Or at least you would be if the d*mn commercial would end...)

    So, as far as they are concerned, skipping over reminders that the show you're watching is likely to be on tomorrow too is "stealing television". Boo hoo.

    Their most infamous moment was a couple of weeks ago when they managed to slip two ad breaks into "Commander in Chief" *before* the titles!

    Thank G*d for my PVR.

     

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    Michael, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    The more commercials you skip, the nearer comes the day when the programming you want to watch will be pay-per-view. Yeah sure, information wants to be free. But quality shows and movies need to be paid. Buttheads who produce crap will give away crap, and the good stuff will be paid for by the hour.

     

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    Glenn, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

    is this guy on drugs?

    The reason I own a dvr is to fast forward through commercials.

     

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    Starky, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    " Shaw also threw cold water on the idea that neutering the fast-forward option would result in a consumer backlash. He suggested that consumers prefer DVRs for their ability to facilitate on-demand viewing and not ad-zapping--and consumers might warm to the idea that anytime viewing brings with it a tradeoff in the form of unavoidable commercial viewing."

    This statement would be true IF the DVR didn't have a fast forward button already, and/or if the DVR was given to the viewers for free. Otherwise, it is not so much a trade-off as it is "We're going to take this away from you and you don't get anything out of it"

     

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    JerseyRich, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    Take away my fast forward, I forget to watch your network at all.

    Well said, Coward!

    I agree that the "main" reason people buy DVRs is not for the ability to skip commercials, but once you have it, it's difficult to give up. I even had to have it on radio, that's one reason I got Sirius: it also rewinds and fast-forwards.

     

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    lee, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    Maybe this is an issue that needs the attention of the "Think of the children!" crowd. I know that I use the fast forward button to zip through commercials that feature violence. I don't watch violent programs and I don't allow my daughter to either, but programs for them to pop up during the shows I watch. I use fast fast forward to zip though them, without drawing her attention to them. I became more vigilant after I was watching with my husband and my daugher and he neglected to fast forward and someone was violently murdered in some commercial for a mystery show and I really upset my two year old. The program, which I had seen before did not have anything that I did not want her to see, but the commercials were quite another matter.

     

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    FrankCSF, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    Purpose of TV

    The purpose of TV is not to entertain you. It is to deliver the commercials. That is the business model. Once the ability to deliver the message is lost, then the business model fails. If you don't want commercials, then you must accept a new model. If the commercials won't pay for the content, then you will. Like HBO, extended cable, etc. So if you don't want to be bothered with adverts, call ABC and tell them you would like to pay an extra $50 a month for commercial free TV. Doesn't sound reasonable, though, does it? Of course, you could just turn off the TV and read a book. Those will cost $5 - 25 each, but they are usually without a lot of commercials. Then again, the "free" library is already included in your $2500 a year tax bill.

     

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    Howard, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    "I'm not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials."

    Dear ABC:

    The two main reasons I have a recording device is that life is too short for your damned commercials (back when I bought my VCR, I chose a model that would mark and skip commercials automatically, and if I can ever find a DVR that does that, I will buy it), and I like being able to time-shift so that I can watch the very few obscure things that I'm actually interested in. I can easily live without your service -- in fact, my satellite service went out of order sometime back, and I didn't notice for a week. When I discovered that I wasn't getting any signal, I called tech support, and then went back to my reading.

    And when I can't skip commercials, I won't bother watching at all.

     

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  18.  
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    Andy, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    commercials on TV

    Isn't it frightening when Marketing and Sales people try and start shaping desires rathern then trying to satisfy existing desires?

    Although there are more and more channels and more and more ads, tv quality has been declining - in part to entice viewers to watch more ads. I think they can only save themselfs by reversing the trend - show less ads and charge more for each ad and keep content independent from advertisement (i.e. no one-laugh sit coms).

    Ok, I know that is not going to happen, so four years ago I gave up on TV and started watching just DVDs. The picture quality is much better (we got a projector hooked up to an AIW card 1024x768 on 7'x5' screen), 5.1 sound, no ads and best of all I get to watch what I want.

    Oh, and with less remote control convenience by hunting down those dvds I actually get to spend much less time in front of the screen, which is great.

    News, info and sports are all on the internet much better then on TV nowadays and I save the money for cable, too.

     

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  19.  
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    Mike, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Its not Stealing When...

    Its not stealing when I pay $75 a month to my cable provider. I understand that the TV execs feel they are providing us with some sort of pro bono service and the commercials are just a way to recoup their costs, but if you look at it from our end, we are paying big $$ to watch this crap. Damn! We ARE sheeple, aren't we?

     

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  20.  
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    CoJeff, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Forget ABC

    I love having my dvr!!! For the season finals I will always start watching it 20-30 min after it starts. For some of the 30 min programs I watch, almost half is in commericals. Plus why do I want to watch in each commerical block a ad for some kind of drug and then in sometimes the same commerical block an ad for anti-drug partnership of America saying don't do drugs. Heck sometimes you can see the very same 20 second ad in the same commerical block. As other people have said, by me using the dvr I have gained back a LOT of time that was spent watching ads.

     

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    Dj RaYz, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    New Business Model Please!

    I think that TV needs to come up with more creative ways to insert their commercials for us to see, or a new model to drive revenue for shows watched. Having stop sets for commercials dates back to a time before I was born. There is a new generation of people, we have come up with creative ways to skip commercials because they are plain and simply annoying. The way that it seems that stations get paid is thru advertising revenue and how many people watch tv. To this date, there is no for sure way to calculate how many people are actually watching shows. If Jamie Kellner has convinced his execs that we don't need fast forward for our DVRs and such, then they are thinking totally backwards! They need to come up with a new model for their business, a better way to drive money in and not annoy people, thats just my 2 cents.....

     

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    Rich Miranda, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Purpose of TV

    Then again, the "free" library is already included in your $2500 a year tax bill.

    I don't know where you're from, but I'm moving there. It's cheap! I pay $5600/year. :-)

     

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    Gunjin, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    Brainwashing only works if you aren't aware of the attempt or the method is so sophisticated that logical mental defense exercises don't work. Product placement within the media content is so much more effective anyway. The images either flash by so quickly that your conscious mind is barely aware that it was even there in the first place, or the product becomes ever present, such as a coke can or a certain type of car or computer and embeds into impressionable minds.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:25pm

    screw abc

    i stopped watching tv years ago (and listening to the radio) specifically because of commercials, and the fact that most shows werent of a quality that was rewarding enough to sit through commercials...and im not talking about that version of dont watch tv that is usually "i dont watch tv, did you see friends last night?" i mean, no cable from the wall to my tv, no antenna, nada. tv/dvdplayer/netflix.

    then last year i moved in with a girlfriend who insisted on having tv, so we got direct tv with a tivo. i do watch a bit more tv now, but ONLY because i can skip commercials easily. (and we're talking mostly discovery channel and the family guy because it rules)

    on the very rare occasion that a show comes on right when im home and willing to watch it, i'll specifically put it on pause, then find something to do for 10-15 minutes just so i can still skip commercials throughout the episode.

    i know that i am not alone in this...you take away fast forward and i'll be happy to get my tv in dvd episodes again.

     

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  25.  
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    Kim, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    TIVO and ABC

    What idiots. I would pay twice what I paid for my TIVO to never see a commercial again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:27pm

    I don't want to be "sold" anything. If I want it... I will get it.. If I haven't heard about it.. chances are I wasn't LOOKING for it...

    This is all about money and product exposure.

    I personally don't even watch tv because for the most part it is all one big "plug" for something or other.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    This head of sales needs his head read. Of course he's WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! But of course he's also paid to spout that kind of bullshit. People will believe anything if you pay them enough to do so...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:29pm

    what are they gonna do, make me hold my piss till the end of the show before i can go? how the hell do you patent stopping someone from taking a leak? these guys are friggin geniuses

     

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    John, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:30pm

    hmmm, maybe a new wave of patent trolls?

    i dont know the patent system that well, but perhaps we could start trolling it in order to make patents on potentially crippling tech in order to keep people from making it.

     

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    J, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Purpose of TV

    "So if you don't want to be bothered with adverts, call ABC and tell them you would like to pay an extra $50 a month for commercial free TV."

    $50/mth for ABC??? Yeah, right. Evangeline Lilly in a weekly lesbian orgy wouldn't be enough to justify that price tag.

    But to your point though, I'd be perfectly happy to see commercially sponsored TV gone forever and only have paid content. I have no problem paying for HBO (and it costs a lot less than $50/mth, BTW) because I think the quality warrants the cost. Better yet, give me a pay-per-episode option too. Channels with a lot of good content will get my monthly fee. Others that have mostly crap with one or two good shows I'll just pay for those episodes.

     

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    Dj RaYz, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:39pm

    Re: hmmm, maybe a new wave of patent trolls?

    quote from John:
    i dont know the patent system that well, but perhaps we could start trolling it in order to make patents on potentially crippling tech in order to keep people from making it.

    ^ That is genius!! I don't really know the patent system either, but its a good start! We can be Rich!

     

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    Whatever he said, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:39pm

    No worries

    Okay -- the only reason TV exists is for advertising, you just have to realize that. It wouldn't seem that way to youth who have never known life-before-cable, but its true. If you think you are entitled to TV without ads, get in the welfare line now, since you think you are entitled to things without paying for them.

    The rest of us will ALWAYS have a FF button, because we are willing to pay for them, even when someone is trying to elimiate it.

    And listen to the warnings well, because you just might create a world where advertisers get desperate -- who really wants to watch "The McDonald's Dodgers vs. The Burger King Yankees" -- not that baseball isn't boring enough.

     

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  33.  
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    Matthew, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:41pm

    Wasn't Cable TV supposed to be the answer to commercials in the beginning? I paid a premium to get 20 extra channels that did nothing but show me movies or specials or genre X of shows.

    Then commercials crept in.

    Then it was extra premiums like HBO. I still see commercials, but mostly about HBO information. Believe me, i know when the Sopranos were on, I did not need to be reminded every 20 minutes.

    This is a small reason why I love soccer. Uninterrupted TV. 45 minutes and extra time of soccer and nothing but. Maybe there's a slogan in a corner showing this 45 minutes provided commercial-free by Adidas, or Budweiser, or Kia and that works and I'll drive to the store in my KIA Optima and walk to the counter in my Adidas sneakers and buy...well milk. I don't care for beer at all. Those frogs were funny though.

    So this makes it seem to me that TV is affordable without product invations. Discreet, clever, rare drop ins about a product work. And these companies can spend less on advertising, which make the products cheaper...or horde a little more profit from that department instead.

     

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    Mac, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Purpose of TV

    I agree that the business model of TV is to deliver the commericals, but why do they have to be rammed down my throat every 5 minutes. It seems the only TV model that has commercials every 5 minutes is the "be-a-good-consumer" US TV model. When I visit my family in Germany I don't have to put up with a delay in my show. And don't tell me there haven't been some clever ads from Europe. They seem to get passed around quite a bit in email. How many times have you seen that whiny kid in the French condom ad?

    Speaking of Philips /Norelco I personally have found their http://shaveanywhere.com campaign hilarious! I have never seen a Shave Anywhere commercial on TV, (mostly because I have stopped watching regular TV...the only thing we watch these days is HBO and I still have to pay for those incompetent-every-other-show-is-a-"reality"-show that come in basic cable) and I don't even know if they have one.

    I agree with Mike, "...advertisers need to improve their standards." Execs shouldn't be dictating the technology.

     

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    Common Sense, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 1:53pm

    Right! And no one will mind riding bicycles everyw

    Whoever at ABC made this statement has simply lost thier mind. Making such a comment is like saying that people would not mind going back to walking or riding bicycles instead of riding in automobiles. Or perhaps more fittingly listening to cassette tapes instead of CDs. Right!

     

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    Rudy, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    tivo

    Are you serious? The only reason I like it so much IS to skip commercials. If you want me to watch that b.s. then the advertising company's should be paying me to watch it not the cable or satellite provider. I hate watching them with a passion.

     

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    Yooperbacker, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:05pm

    Pop ups

    I have noticed that more and more shows are having pop ups come up during a show, advertising something or other. They have now taken the end of a show that show the credits and shoved it over to just one half of your screen and throw advertising at you that way. Maybe ABC will start showing commericals during the show, popping in and out or scrolling along the bottom.
    I watched the Daytona nascar race last week and timed how much of the race I was able to see. They showed 35% of the race and the other 25% was commericals.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Who goes out and buys something because they saw it on TV?

     

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    Yooperbacker, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Pop ups

    For the nascar race I met to say 35 minutes of an hour was the race and 25 minutes of an hour was commericals.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Ford to eliminate the trunk.

    You too I suppose. We're all sheeple in one way or another - none of us can escape being part of the entire society.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:14pm

    You know what I do? I use the MUTE button. I go make a sandwich.

    They need to make money somehow. If products start to undercut their main source for revenue we will see WORSE TV. That sucks considering the level it's currently at anyway.

    Use the MUTE button... the MUTE button...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    You do whether you like it or not. It's called the power of suggestion and chances are you purchase most of your day-to-day things as a direct result of advertisements many of which you probably saw on TV.



    Marketing and advertising works - learn about it; it's pretty interesting.

     

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    Division by Zero, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:17pm

    Tivo: Long Live the Skip Button!

    About the only time I ever watch live tv anymore is when I'm at someone else's house and have no choice in the matter. If tv execs want me to watch commercials they should make them entertaining and RELEVANT to the program I'm watching. Even better, they should sell product placement. If a character drinking Coke can be worked into the storyline and have it make SENSE I don't mind it at all. I watch tv for the shows and if I can save 15 minutes in a 1-hour show by skipping commercials, I'll do it in a heartbeat.

     

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    Wizard Prang, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:22pm

    Re: On principal, I don't mind commercials

    1) People with Cable and Satellite already pay for their TV programming.
    2) TiVo customers pay still more.
    3) No matter what they may think or say to the contrary, Network execs cannot MAKE you watch their ads.

    Look what happened when theaters started advertising before the movie... people started deliberately turning up late to avoid them.

     

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    Brandon, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:30pm

    Re: New Business Model Please!

    I would have to agree. And i'm not sure if anyone has mentioned or seen the new sprite advertisments, but they have implemented the use of the DVR by placing subliminal messages in, and stating even to use your DVR to view the "full" commercial. Pretty dope if you ask me. so that would be one good model to follow. but then again... i'm not in advertising

     

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    Victoria, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:32pm

    who are they kidding?

    I've had a DVR for so long now that I almost never watch something "live." Being able to skip commercials is not why I got a DVR, but I wouldn't buy a DVR without that feature. Most of the time, it's second nature to me now.

    As someone said earlier, I will start the recording and then start watching 20 minutes later so that I can skip commercials.

     

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    Whatever he said, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:51pm

    Like I said...

    I'd prefer to keep it the way it is. What would happen if you eliminate TV commercials?

    "hey, I really like that Pepsi edition Toyota your driving"

    "yeah, but I really wanted the Nike package, I just couldn't afford it. Hey, do you want to go to the game tonight? Big Mac Shaq and the Miami House of Pancakes Heat are playing the Detroit Pizza Hut Pistons -- you get in free if you buy a copy of Star Wars Seven, the Return of the Mc Rib.

     

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  48.  
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    David, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 2:51pm

    Skip Commercials Button

    Personally, I get pissed that I do not have a skip commercials button on my TIVO. The three seconds it takes to skip through them is such a hassel. How about someone invent something that records the shows without the commercials all together.

     

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  49.  
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    Olivier, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:12pm

    Then I will stop watching TV

    This statement is so ridiculous it is almost funny. Are ABC execs listening to what people want? Maybe they should start conducting surveys before assuming what people really want... I barely watched TV at all before I got my TiVo (and when I did, I left the room during the commercial break). The amount of commercials was unbearable and I preferred to watch DVDs or go the movies. Now that I can play the show when I want AND skip the annoying commercials, I have started to watch TV again. TiVo is obvisouly a life-changing new service, and maybe as TV viewing changes, the business model for TV should also change. I currently pay $50 per month to my cable company. Why can't we imagine a system where it gives me access to X hours of recordable TV per month, and if I want more I can either buy on demand or watch without forwarding? Actually, not only was the amount of commercials unbearable, but its content was even worse. Commercial breaks are filled with advertising for large SUVs, diapers, cialis and other products I am absolutely not interested in. If TV networks focused on better targetting, that would understand that I just bought a car and don't have kids and have other needs right now. Creating and "pushing" inefficient "mass market" commercials is over. I was one of the first to use pop blockers, but I always read targeted AdWords. It is time to reinvent advertising, not stop progress...

     

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  50.  
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    Robert, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    FYI

    The network execs apparantly don't completely understand the supply and demand concept controlling prices.

    There is a surplus of the entertainment supply with all the amature generated content these days. Then, because of the exposure of each single piece of entertainment (1 numa numa song can be accessed by the entire world) the market has become saturated. So simply, entertainment has a less assumed price tag; so to the consumer, they are not getting the same value for their dollar as they used to, and by natural instinct they look for the best value for themselves. The record, network, and motion picture associations are blind to this saturations and naturally are looking for anything possible to blame for their falling stocks/value (because it wouldn't be a good idea to admit to your stock holders that they are investing in a dying industry). This also points to the fact that a new business model isn't the solution, a new business is. A new business model can't beat technology that's 20-50 years ahead of the product a company is trying to sell.

     

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  51.  
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    JAMES C KAZEL, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:40pm

    TIVO

    HE HAS NO BRAIN !!

    I SKIP ALL DUMB COMMERCIALS

     

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  52.  
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    keith, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:42pm

    How is this different than the old days?

    How is fast forwarding through commercials any different than simply waiting until the commercial to use the bathroom or get something from the refrigerator? The end result is the same, no one watches the crappy commercials either way.

     

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  53.  
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    Ktesibios, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:52pm

    What advertisers did in response to the VCR was to start working at writing and designing commercials so that the basic message would still come through visually when the commercial was scan-forwarded by the viewer- call it writing for the Benny Hill mode.

    AFAIAC, they can do whatever they damned well please with DVRs- I won't see the zarking commercials anyway because I haven't had a TV for over six years now and have no intention of ever buying another one.

     

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  54.  
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    Network TV sucks, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 3:53pm

    !!!!!

    Plain and simple with the crap they put on TV in all the stupid reality shows and other crap thrown on there.....I fast forward just to watch the commercials because 99% of the TV shows on the big 5 Suck and ABC sucks the worst.....why can't my cable provider let me pick my channels i want to watch and just charge me for the channels? why because I would only pay for maybe 10 channels!!!! My TV is only good for 2 things now watching movies I rent or for my Gaming system....you know screw TV period I'm going to go play a game now

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 4:11pm

    MythTV has a commercial Skip that works

    I've been using MythTV for over 2 years with no upgrade and it skips commercials automatically if you want or one block at a time if you prefer. It works great and I dread watching TV reatime when if its slightly timeshifted I can skipp all the commercials. If they force me to watch commercials somehow, I will reduce my viewing of network TV from 3 hrs a week to 0. No big deal! BTW, Ihaven't fiddled with the MythTV since I finished it over two years ago. It just works and works well.

     

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  56.  
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    Tyshaun, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 4:23pm

    I haven't heard a great alternative?

    I've heard a lot of people say how they don't want to watch the crappy commercials, but aside from the people saying "make better commercials", what other new "business models" do you people have?

    BTW, the make better commercials option is a chicken and egg scenario. If I was a corporation I'd be loathed to shell out for better writers/CGI/whatever to make a better commercial without a guarantee on return. The only way you can guarantee on return is to make it so that folks can't bypass your message as easily as most TIVO like systems provide. Get the problem here?

    In the end, I keep reading techDirt, waiting to hear about this "new business model" that is beneficial for the corporation and the consumer. The dogma seems to be "corporations need to change how they do things completely, when it comes to ads, and maybe consumers will watch the ads". I'd love to be the marketing guy trying to sell that to the board of directors of any major corporation.

    To me, seems like too many people want music or TV or whatever entertainment without paying for it. I know there are those who say "I pay for artists I want to hear or I don't mind ads" but it seems the vast majority of posters are perfectly content to go to bittorrent or morpheus or whatever and not even bother paying for their entertainment fix. The only reason that really bothers me is because although the quality of suych stuff is already barely fit for human consumption, it's going to get worse because corporations aren't going to suddenly go "let's change everything so that people will stop filesharing and ad skipping", their going to go "let's put even less money into our products so that we can make the profit margins better".

    As for me, I shell out for cable TV because I too hate ads and think it's worth it to pay to not have them (or at least not as many thrown in with the fact that even basic cable seems to have more compelling programming than broadcast). I still get CD's at the store of artists I hear on the radio that tickle my fancy or I hear good word of mouth about (not as many as it used to be). That way, I never have to lie to myself and say "Im only using bittorrent to get this movie because the quality is so crappy it aint worth buying" or "Ill download all the artists songs for free, and if I like them, I'll go pay to get another copy of them at the store(yeah right)". Most of all though, I find myself reading a lot more books and online articles nowadays because its cheaper and they haven't figured out how to have streaming ads in a book (yet!).

     

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  57.  
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    txjump, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 4:31pm

    TV and marketing

    I watch MAYBE one or two hours of tv a week. MAYBE. Probably closer to one or two hours a month. So, tell me how that kind of marketing works on me?

    If I watched enough tv to justify buying a PVR...I would. AND I WOULD SKIP COMMERCIALS.

    Especially those stupid drug commercials where they say, "Ask your doctor about 'XYZ'" and they don't even tell you what it's for. Or if they do tell you, the list of side affect are not what you want to be hearing while you are eating dinner. And the side affects are usually worse than what you are trying to fix. GEEZ.

     

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  58.  
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    dt king, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:07pm

    Commercials aren't so bad

    Sometimes I'll notice that we're watching a movie on commercial television that we also have on DVD. Not like I actually sit quietly watching them.

     

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  59.  
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    Jay, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:13pm

    I can't believe I'm reading this!

    Isn't this sort of thing getting silly? ABC and other media exects have gotta come to thier senses and stop acting like little kids. If people don't want to see the ads then they won't watch them. If ABC start being dictators-they will lose viewers. I don't buy into the notion that people don't care about using fast forward or skip buttons.

    I do it all the time! What are they going to do? Sue me? Forget it.

    ABC and other Media bosses: Get a life!

     

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  60.  
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    tiny-e, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    Someone should remind these F|_|cks...

    That the airwaves belong to the PEOPLE, and that we ALLOW the television stations to use them through licensing.

    --Or at least that was the way it was intended. They were allowed to accept commercial sponsorship to cover the expensive costs of production, but the commercial to programming ratio is getting a little too lean lately.


    Bill Hicks: "The Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmmm . . . sounds like every commercial on TV doesn't it?"

    Money Grubbing Swine.

     

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  61.  
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    Jay, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Skip Commercials Button

    This would be a great idea-but you would need something that can tell the difference between a commercial and a TV program. I'm not saying it's not possible-after all Thomas edison invented the light bulb even when people were telling him he couldn't do it.

    I'm waiting for someone to come up with the idea-I'm not smart enough.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    "I'm not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials. I don't fundamentally believe that. People can understand in order to have convenience and on-demand (options), that you can't skip commercials."
    -Dumb Ass

     

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  63.  
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    Angelique, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:51pm

    dream on, dream on

    Good luck, ABC. I recently decided not to upgrade my DVR from Dish Network for the primary reason that new DVRs don't have the 30-second skip button. Sure, I could still fast forward with a new model, but no way I'm ever going "backwards" like that. I'm hooked on no-commercial tv. So when ABC gets its way and there's no other choice but to watch commercials, I'm going to do PVR on my computer no matter how dang complicated it is. Or I'm going to pay $2 for Lost episodes on my video iPod, no matter how small and crummy the quality is. Fact of life: consumers will do almost anything to avoid bad, repetitive commercials. For the super bowl, we'll put up with them. But that's more because we don't want to be out of the loop the next morning in the office than because we find them worth our time. Ugh, this is such a pathetic (and scary) story.

     

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  64.  
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    Angelique (again), Jul 7th, 2006 @ 5:57pm

    just buy shows on DVD

    Or I forgot the best option, really. Just don't pay for tv service at all. Buy the DVD box sets for each season of a show you want to see. I could buy 12 box sets each year for the price I'm currently paying for 60 channels.

     

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  65.  
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    bren, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    ABC skips skipping commercials

    So, ABC wants to stick it to the consumer, huh? They put more and more ads in, requiring the actors to act less and less, then continue to pay the less acting actors more and more money. I'm thinking the entertainment could take a slight cut in pay and still come out smelling pretty dang good!

     

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  66.  
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    Bob, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 6:37pm

    Its obvious by all the comments here that everyone hates commercials. I dont know a soul who likes them. Since we all hate them and everyone finds ways to avoid them I would like to see a study that shows if commercials are even effective at enticing anyone to buy anything. Personally I dont think they even make anyone buy something. I never bought something because of a commercial I saw. In fact most of the time I refuse to buy a product BECAUSE of the ad. They always have some annoying person looking like an idiot or screaming. And daytime is the worst. Every commercial is for a lawyer, old people drugs, or schools. I would never hire a lawyer from TV anyway. Good lawyers dont need commercials. I never saw a Johnny Cochran commercial.

     

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  67.  
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    GS, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 6:38pm

    DVR skipping commercials

    ABC's head of ad sales - the guy is WAY out of touch with reality or simply a good case of disillusions of grandour. Seventy-five percent why I have a DVR is to watch a one hour show in forty minutes. I'm plain tired of commercial after commercial after commercial. If I didn't have a DVR I would simply switch channels - which I do when not watching a show on the DVR.

     

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  68.  
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    Huh, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 6:47pm

    Who watces ABC?

    There's no point in a DVR or TiVo if it can't skip commercials. If they're going to force consumers to watch commercials with a dvr, they might as well pirate. Or ninja... if that's how you roll.

     

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  69.  
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    tvzeppelin, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 7:04pm

    ABC ANAL BASS-TARDS

    SCREW COMM. i HAVENT SEEN A TRULY FUNNY AD IN 8 YRS

     

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  70.  
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    Me, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 7:08pm

    What kind of idiot does not realize that people DON'T like to watch TV Commercials. DVRs are ONLY being bought to skip them. Period!

     

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  71.  
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    Michael, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Bob is out to lunch

    "Personally I dont think they even make anyone buy something. I never bought something because of a commercial I saw. In fact most of the time I refuse to buy a product BECAUSE of the ad."

    So sorry to inform you, but the big advertisers have information on EXACTLY how effective their commercials are, then they pay the networks or other media EXACTLY what their commercials are worth to them. These numbers are going down - just check the recent Upfronts.

    What most of the posters here seem to fail to understand, is that the networks and the advertisers are EXACTLY as smart as you guys are, and they use the very same computers that you do, without the smartass attitude or anywhere near the same level of ignorance of the real world or credulousness.

    By the way, to all of you who claim to only watch a few hours of TV per month: what makes you think that anyone on Earth wants to hear your opinion of television? In the TV world, you really do not count.

     

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  72.  
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    Dog Days, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 7:28pm

    When I got my first TIVO in 99 (when they came on the market) The commercials were about 12 min. long for a hour show. Now there 20 min. and the wonder why we skip them.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 8:03pm

    you pay for cable or television services....

    how is not watching commercials stealing? If anything, seeing commericals for non-free tv is robbing you of your money by showing you commercials

     

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  74.  
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    blurby blurb blurb, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 9:03pm

    Vive le Tivolution!

    The real problem here is that I watch TV because I'm bored, and i remain bored because I'm watching TV.

    When I got my Tivo, I thought I'd have more time to do other things because I could skip the commercials. In reality, I've found that there is so little quality programming that I care to record, that I hardly use it. So to me, the real solution is get rid of commercials forever by turning off the cable service, using my TV only to watch rented movies (with commercials, aargh!) and spend more of my time reading books, being more physically active and spending quality time with family and friends.

    What now ABC? You gonna insert product placement in my books to keep me in reach of your advertisers? F. You!

     

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  75.  
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    Tom Pitaniello, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 11:53pm

    ABC's head of ad sales actually claimed that consu

    he's a fucking idiot

     

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  76.  
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    Anon, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 12:02am

    Wait, I thought the only reason to get a Tivo was to skip commercials without wasting VCR tapes. Skipping commercials is time shifting, is it not?

    What's next, we can't skip the end of a crappy show and move on to the next.

    FYI, ABC, it's my TV!

    HBO and CNN are only a click away. Soprano's > Supernanny, CNN/HeadlineNews > Nightline.

     

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  77.  
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    kitobot, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 2:30am

    Distopian visions of the future in Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 depict TV sets that won't turn off and citizens that are obliged to watch. I am an Englishman, but surely it goes against pretty much everything America stands for to remove the right of the citizen to make a choice? Isn't that the whole point in the land of the free?

    I realise that networks need to make money, but surely there is a less vapid alternative, especially when the current system is so clearly hated by a lot of people (if you take this comments list as an indication...).

    So here's a plea to the country whose media models are being copied around the world: please leave my Internet alone and please leave my freedom to choose what I can watch alone. Thanks!

     

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  78.  
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    TRS, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:42am

    I have it I will just patent a TV that blocks ABC

     

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  79.  
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    Joe, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:42am

    DVD Commercial Skipping

    This just goes to show you that some of these IROCS (Idiots Right out of College) have nothing but some book learning and no real world experience or common sense. Skipping commercials is not only convient but I see the same ones over and over when watching non-recorded programs anyway. The fast forward benefit for those programs I do record is a huge bonus to watching programs. I can watch commercials anytime...

     

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  80.  
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    The ticking clock, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 6:09am

    I'm going to laugh if Yahoo comes along and says that using the Adblock plugin on Firefox is stealing access to your email. PS. If they were right out of college, they would have watched TV enough to know better.

     

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  81.  
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    Kerry, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 7:04am

    tv

    99% of tv is garbage, if there WERE such a thing as viewer discretion, most of the shows on tv wouldn't be, and there would be NO commercials peddling useless crap that none of us need.
    our tv just broke, the great part? no tv! the bad part? we have a warranty so it will get fixed.........

     

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  82.  
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    Mr. Lucas Brice, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 7:22am

    ABC is Right

    You can distort what they said in a slanted article, but the basic statement that ABC made is that people don't primarily buy DVRs for the ability to fast forward and skip commercials. They buy it to timeshift.

    This is true. The ability to skip commercials is an added benefit, but it's not the *reason* that people buy DVRs.

    True statement.

     

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  83.  
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    Joe, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Without the fast-forward button how will I skip some of the mundane programming ABC and the other networks put out? I use it for a lot more than skipping commercials.

    I don't find myself skipping through HBO programming, but then I pay for it.

     

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  84.  
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    Mr. Lucas Brice, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Bob is out to lunch

    No, the advertisers pay the networks based on ratings, not based on "what their commericals are worth to them." The reason that the networks aren't able to bill the same high numbers as in the past is because ratings are dropping across the board because people aren't watching as much television as they used to, and netork television is losing share to cable.

     

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  85.  
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    Nilt, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:43am

    Re: Skip Commercials Button

    Personally, I get pissed that I do not have a skip commercials button on my TIVO. The three seconds it takes to skip through them is such a hassel. How about someone invent something that records the shows without the commercials all together.

    Actually, TiVo does have a 30 second skip. You just have to know how to enter a code on the remote. Google it and you'll almost certainly find the information.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:47am

    Effective Marketing

    You do whether you like it or not. It's called the power of suggestion and chances are you purchase most of your day-to-day things as a direct result of advertisements many of which you probably saw on TV.

    Marketing and advertising works - learn about it; it's pretty interesting.

    I think you posted that comment on the wrong web site. By looking at the comments here, it's obvious that the people here have a mind of their own, and have made it up when it comes to advertisements. They suck. They're annoying, obtrusive and sometimes even offensive. Now you to come here and tell us that we buy into it whether we think we do or not. How exactly did you determine that? Were you in my head when I made the concious decision to buy whatever product is cheapest that fits my needs, despite what their marketing budget is?

    Whether or not they make you remember their company name (or even their product which can sometimes be hard to discern), isn't important. I remember a lot of commercials I have been heard before, and I usually make it a point to steer clear of those products. The more annoying the ad, the more likely I will never buy that product, and even tell others to do the same.

    If I really bought into the marketing that is prevalent in our TV and radio commercials, I would currently own:

    - an Ipod
    - an Apple computer
    - a Razr phone
    - Insurance from Rock Financial
    - a large collection of CD's and DVD's
    - a Cable or Satellite connection
    - lots of drugs to help me sleep, stay awake, be more active, focus, breathe easier, etc.

    I don't have any of these things. Not because I hate the commercials they play (with the exception of Rock Financial), but because when I want something, I research the best products available in my price range and make an informed decision. I know it's hard for a marketing student to hear, but there are still some people out there who don't want to be herded in the same direction as all the other sheep.

     

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  87.  
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    Nilt, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:53am

    Re: ABC is Right

    You can distort what they said in a slanted article, but the basic statement that ABC made is that people don't primarily buy DVRs for the ability to fast forward and skip commercials. They buy it to timeshift.

    This is true. The ability to skip commercials is an added benefit, but it's not the *reason* that people buy DVRs.

    True statement.

    I'll grant you timeshifting is the key reason I got my TiVo. What you don't seem to realize is skipping commercials IS timeshifting. Skipping commercials speeds up the shows I bother to watch by about 30% on average. In addition to watching what I want when I want, I now do it faster.

    The other benefit of TiVo for me is that my son is no longer subjected to marketing brainwashing when watching a kid's show. Heck, the entire freaking show is just a commercial for the merchandising now; why should we see extra ads between all of that?!

    If they manage to force TiVo to disallow skipping commercials somehow then both TiVo and my cable provider will lose my monthly fees and they'll have zero viewing from my household. The drivel on ABC isn't something I watch anyhow and I can always find other things to do with my cash. Heck, an extra 7 books a month or so will just about make up the few hours a week I already burn on TV.

     

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  88.  
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    Chris, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:28am

    ffw on dvr

    That is why I pay the cable company +10$ a month. So I can fast forward thru commercials AND not miss my favorate shows. The only shows I don't FFD thru are HBO Orig Series.

    Just for the record ABC, If you are successful, I won't even record your channels which means I won't watch your one good show.

    CTM

     

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  89.  
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    El Guapo, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    Canceling Digital Cable and going back to Tivo...

    I recently upgraded to Digital cable with HD and was the proud recipient of a monstrous cable box with too many buttons and gizmos. After owning it a week and watching the same damn HD shows over and over, my girlfriend announced, "I miss TiVo." Well, so do I. I'm calling Comcast, canceling my Digital Silver package and going back to my tried and trusted commercial-skipping TiVo...
    Don't tell me I don't like skipping commercials!

     

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  90.  
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    Anonynon Perishable, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:32am

    The sad thing is...

    many of the commercials are actually better than the crap program you're watching.

     

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  91.  
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    Brian, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:34am

    Commercials vs pay

    The same folks here having a fit about commercials would throw the same fit if the exec had said they were going to be eliminating commercials in favor of a $8 per show fee. "I like Lost, but I'm not going to pay $200 over the course of a season to watch it!!"

    Which is why...the tv networks need to come up with a way to offer both. One version with commercials, one pay per view with no commercials, both streamed and on demand. Google Box perhaps?

     

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  92.  
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    Kamran, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 10:40am

    Re: Commercials vs pay

    I like this idea, kind of. Except for the fact that we pay $40+ for Comcast digital cable, we should be entitled to skip the goddang commercials.

    Besides, I never watch TV anyways. I have cable in my room and I never turn it on... it's my parents and brothers that watch it.

     

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  93.  
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    fsjdklfjlsdk fdsjklfjsddsfjkl, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    what an idiot

     

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  94.  
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    Stephen Gaydos, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 11:11am

    Commercial Skipping on TiVo

    She's GOT to be kidding about people not caring about fast-forwarding past commercials. Sure, it's not the Primary reason we bought the Technology, Recording, Season Passes, Pausing, and all of the other features ARE primarily what we bout it for; but that's a LONG was from saying that people don't care about it. It's another very useful function, and if Consumers have a choice between a Machine that CAN skip commercials and one that can't, the one that can't would sell ZERO Units. While the Main functions may be 10s, skipping is a good 9,5. She's living in a Dream World, or perhaps it's just Denial. If ALL manufacturers tried to do that, you can BET that before they ever got to market there would be an inexpensive, or even do-it-yourself, kit to bypass it to allow skipping again, and the Consumers would heap SO much disdain on them that they would quickly reverse themselves. As soon as one realized that if HIS/HER Company still allowed skipping while everyone else does not, they would VERY quickly corner the market. The Others would soon follow suit.

    They may WANT to believe we think it's only fair to have to watch commercials, and perhaps we even DO to a certain extent; that's not going to stop ANYONE from skipping if they can.

    Stephen Gaydos

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Re: Commercials vs pay

    Um,
    I have bad news for all you "well if they have no comercials they would charge $8 a show" people.

    I get 9 channels of HBO, 8 of Stars, 5 of Cinemax, 6 of Showtime, 4 of TMC, 7 of Encore and 1 each of
    Sundance and Flix for a total cost of $40 (us) a month.
    All 41 are comercial free channels.

    So, going by the actual money being spent in the market, a month of ABC should only cost 97 CENTS a month AND be commercial free...

    When they are ready to go there, Ill meet them. otherwise Ill keep my ability to skip the commercials.

    My other peeve about commercials are that they average 90% louder than the programming, you turn UP the sound to hear the show & then the commercials SCREAM at you.

    Ya, Way to get me to watch your sales pitch, YELL AT ME!

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Commercials vs pay

    Oh and that's on 4 recievers too, 4 tv's in my house get those channels for thta price.

     

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  97.  
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    Me, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    No more FREE TV!!!

    I hope the networks do ban the fast forward feature. Either that or start charging for what we used to know as so called "Free TV". Than maybe people will actually do something else other than plant thier fat a$$es in front of the TV.

     

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  98.  
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    Martin Tibbitts, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 12:06pm

    Tivo

    I haven't watched Live TV in 5 years. Id even switch away to Sage and lose HDTV if it meant not being able to FFW.

     

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  99.  
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    Jack Sombra, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    Nothing susprise's me..

    ..that american networks might think or come up with

    Why? Because the american viewers have let them get away with murder for years now.

    I HATE watching TV when i am state side due the commercials every 7 to 10 minutes, it's just impossible to get "get into" any program with that frequency of breaks, especially as they generally seem to be put on even in "mid sentence", totally destroying the program for me

    Much prefure the english model of about 3 breaks in a hour (instead of the normal US 4 to 6), each about double the length of the normal US break, gives you time to make coffe/go to the bathroom make a tell call or see what else is on and normally they are fitted in around the program not like the US where the program has to fit around the commercials (sometimes really weird watching US programs on the BBC as it has no ad breaks as you can see how the program was written to take into account frequent ad breaks)

    As to paying for cable/Sat and getting Ad's? Well more fool you, guess it's true, there is a sucker born every minute.

     

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  100.  
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    Apennismightier, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 1:00pm

    Commercials Schmommercials

    What the networks could do to battle people "stealing" tv, is in the beginning of the show, have a quick 30 second clip of an advertisement and have that advertisement be the only one per show like in the old days. It would drive advertising sales up due to the demand for high shows and the possibility of only 1 spot per show, which would give the networks the power to charge whatever they want.

    Every 20 minutes, throw in the quick 30 second spot and no one gets annoyed, TV execs get to charge whatever they want... everyone is happier than a pig in shit.

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Canceling Digital Cable and going back to Tivo

    Buy the DVR for your HDTV package, moron. If you're spending that much money, why not get the DVR included?

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    by Joe on Jul 8th, 2006 @ 7:29am

    Without the fast-forward button how will I skip some of the mundane programming ABC and the other networks put out? I use it for a lot more than skipping commercials.

    I don't find myself skipping through HBO programming, but then I pay for it.

    HBO doesn't air commercials in between shows you idiot. Besides, HBO only showcases their programming, which chances are if you're watching HBO at all, you either already watch or will be interested in. It's called PREMIUM CABLE. Say it with me now...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    If they actually did ever stop that, I imagine people would just do what they've always done. Gone to the bathroom.

     

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  104.  
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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Jul 8th, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Commercials vs pay

    eliminating commercials in favor of a $8 per show fee


    So, the people paying for the commercials are being charged the number of viewers times $8, huh? (Spread through a show, so divide by, say, 16 commercials for an hour)

    That would mean that for an hour-long show, a single commercial spot would cost 50c times the viewing figures. So if a show has a 5 million rating, they're charging $2.5 Million per ad spot.

    Oh, but wait... The most expensive Superbowl commercial ever only cost $2.5 Million.

    I think your theory that a TV company currently makes $8 per episode from every subscriber is an overestimate at best. I don't have figures to hand, but I suspect that $1 per episode would be closer to the mark. And, for decent shows like "Law & Order" or "The Shield" I'd *happily* pay $1 not to watch any ads. (Or *grudgingly* pay $1.50)

     

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  105.  
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    Michael, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    Re: On principal, I don't mind commercials

    Sorry, that's a defeatist attitude. Commercial broadcast companies like ABC chose the commercial interruption model to generate revenue back in a time where the audience had no other choices, no "skip commercials" technology, and not even PBS to watch instead. In other words, they foisted this business model on the public because they could.

    Now viewers have choices. Many watch cable TV and won't watch the broadcast networks at all. I go even further, I don't watch the boob tube at all - ever. If I want entertainment, I go to the theater. But most folks have VCR's and/or TiVO's and programming choices that don't include commercials like HBO. The point is THEY get to decide what they want to pay for and what they don't want to pay for.

    The old-school networks are in the same sinking ship as the old news media rags like the New York Times. Their audiences are shrinking and they haven't a clue what to do about it.

    One last point. If you think for one second that the advertisers are paying for commercial time - take a basic business course. They pass that cost on to ... guess who? That's right - you and me. And the advertisers don't really care if you saw their ad or not. You still get to pay for it in the increased price of their products.

     

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    FedUP, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    ABC Idiocy

    OK. I am old enough to remember when you could actually keep track of what you were watching. There weren't so many commercials that you could forget what show you had on. The wife and I don't have TiVo, but we have slowly but surely been cutting our cable service down to the bare minimum. We have rediscovered books, movies (on DVD), music (the library is a wonderful source for all of these). We also play quite a few PC and X-Box based games. All of these provide lots of entertainment for a fairly low cost AND I am not being told 432 times in an hour what show or movie is going to be on in 2 weeks (or in an hour). I dont have to put up with ads that block out half of your picture when you are watching another show. And I do not have to listen about products that will:
    1. get me in shape by spending just 3 nano seconds a week ( I do it the old fashioned way, 3-4x per week)
    2. clean anything in my home by waving it over the mess
    3. be able to retire in 3-1/2 days, just by following 3 simple steps
    4. repeat above

    One of these days the morons who run the entertainment industry (music, movies and tv) will figure out that if they actually paid attention to what their customers wanted, they might, in the long run make a lot more money..

    Whew ok rant over

     

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  107.  
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    FedUP, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    ABC Idiocy

    OK. I am old enough to remember when you could actually keep track of what you were watching. There weren't so many commercials that you could forget what show you had on. The wife and I don't have TiVo, but we have slowly but surely been cutting our cable service down to the bare minimum. We have rediscovered books, movies (on DVD), music (the library is a wonderful source for all of these). We also play quite a few PC and X-Box based games. All of these provide lots of entertainment for a fairly low cost AND I am not being told 432 times in an hour what show or movie is going to be on in 2 weeks (or in an hour). I dont have to put up with ads that block out half of your picture when you are watching another show. And I do not have to listen about products that will:
    1. get me in shape by spending just 3 nano seconds a week ( I do it the old fashioned way, 3-4x per week)
    2. clean anything in my home by waving it over the mess
    3. be able to retire in 3-1/2 days, just by following 3 simple steps
    4. repeat above

    One of these days the morons who run the entertainment industry (music, movies and tv) will figure out that if they actually paid attention to what their customers wanted, they might, in the long run make a lot more money..

    Whew ok rant over

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    1984 !!!

    I wonder if exec. stay home and masturbate to comercials that they promote and produce. Or maybe they own DVRs just so they can do this. I hope they realize people are always going to find a work around for this kind of non-sense!!!! Just take away my freedom to think.... That would be All-American like...

     

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    Scotty, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:07pm

    ABC is dumb

    if they think people actually want to watch the commercials. Skipping the commercials is the best part of the TiVo service. I would not buy one that couldn't skip them. They care more about profit margins then consumer satisfaction. Guess what guys, with out satisfied customers there will be no profit!

     

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    Richard Bishop, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:19pm

    Executive thinking, or How Big Business Wants to R

    By oppression, suppression, or by in-bred mental regression ... The business world continues to wage its war against consumers and their rights. Like the RIAA, most media industry suits have no concept of reality, or how to endear themselves to the consumer market. Comments like "Most users wouldn't mind not being able to fast forward their Tivos through commercials" (Paraphrased), offers proof positive that a college degree offers no benefit except for enabling degree holders a prolific opportunity to legitimize the absurd. Advertisement and logos already are way too intrusive. Public television say they don't have ads, but rather offer sponsor spots ... which oddly look exactly like commercials. Luckily for me, I am old and will not live to see the current younger generation come into power (God willing). Maybe when the next Civil War comes in the next 30 to 40 years, their might be some hopeful outcome. I'll offer up this much ... The rebels will win this time.

     

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    BlackCow, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:40pm

    loud comercials

    I dont even realy watch TV anymore, im on the internets more. But one thing that I hate about comercials is they RAISE THE SOUND REALY REALY LOUD!!!!! Its very rude and annoying when its already loud on your souround sound system.

     

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    Scottux, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 5:54pm

    Commercials

    When did entertainment become a part of commercials in the first place, a commercial is supposed to inform you of a product's existence, and what it does. I think Taco Bell sold more stuffed chihuahuas than they sold stuffed burritos during that 'yo quiero taco bell' campaign.
    I am not saying that it is ineffective advertising, the advertisers do what they can to keep you glued to the TV. Sadly, they do such a good job that the commercials can be more entertaining than the show they interrupt. Either way, it has a feeling of being shoved in your face - an interruption in your thought process, "What's going to happen next to my favorite character? Will he save the patient? Oh, is it the butler? What? Oh, hahaha a funny talking animated character wants me to buy something. What was I doing? Oh yeah, I'll order a pizza."
    No wonder American kids have no attention span. They were raised with interruptions, their cartoons and shows with talking animals are constantly interrupted with more cartoons and talking animals.

    Commercials are necessary, they inform people of what is on the market. They get the word out about your cause. There should be a separate channel for them. Or we should be able to choose the ones we want to watch from those we don't, for instance feminine hygiene products, or 15% in 15 minutes, or $19.99 wonder thingy. If cable companies had intelligent people working there, they would embrace DVR and offer commercial categories. Like a phone book, pay to be placed - can't gaurantee they'll call or even look at your commercial. But the choice would be there for us, instead of force fed and interrupting.

     

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    lilypad, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 6:41pm

    dumb and dumber

    Ok who ever thought of this will pay dearly if this goes through. Not only that but ABC will lose quite afew people if they can't fast forword. We have tivo here and we often just pause so we can fastforword. We don't watch live tv at all!

    NO FAST FORWARDING = NO ABC

    They don't have the guts to go through with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They are all talk.

     

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    Vince, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 7:29pm

    Half the commercials are a waste of the companies money anyway. Do we really need to see a Coke commerial? Even people in third world countries know what coke is. Same goes for Ford, Budweiser, GM, Walmart, etc... Why ram commercials down our throats for things that have been available for 50 years. We all know about them. Its not like Ill say oh Coke I may have to try one of those.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:16pm

    here's a new model for you

    How about paying for programs instead of for networks/channels? If the cable company stopped distributing my monthly $65 to every channel in the package and started giving money only to the network responsible for the show I watched, TV life would be good.

    How would this work? The cable companies would provide ONLY an "on demand" interface. There would be contextual ads playing on the side while I go through the list to find something I want. When I find what I want, I hit play and the show comes on. During the opening credits, a "brought to you by" ad rolls by, say, the bottom of the screen. Who watches opening credits anyway? I watch the show and then at the end a commercial for the next episode in line comes on (because if I watched it all the way through, I probably want to watch the next one - and while they're at it, provide a link to auto-load the next episode if it's out). Again with the ad on the bottom of the screen during the ending credits. That is all.

    For each minute I spend watching the show, the cable company pays a small FLAT fee to the network. So if I spend 40 minutes watching Lost, ABC gets 20 cents out of my subscription fee. The cable companies can then offer, based on the flat fee + profit, different tiers of subscriptions by time. If the flat fee is half a cent per minute and another half a cent per minute goes to the cable company, I'd be paying $12/month for 20 hours of commercial free (but not entirely ad-free) cable access. Crappy shows get less money and good shows get more money, and the crappy-ness of a show is judged by ACTUAL viewing time instead of by random ratings samples. Sounds reasonable to me.

    On top of that, they can add Tivo-like features such as a suggestions list on the side while looking at episode lists and a favorite shows/networks/categories menu. They could allow people to share playlists. Don't tell me they don't have the technology to do this. On Demand is offered by Comcast but it sucks because the selection just isnt there. If everything were (reliably) On Demand, people would have no reason to be downloading things from BT or even a reason to Tivo.

    Of course, many people would complain because they are used to being fed channel lineups and they wouldn't have an option to "surf" anymore. TV would act more like Google than anything else. And we all know how many people know how to "google" properly. Until the "sheeple" decide that they've had enough, we techies and semi-techies will adapt by using various DVR systems.

     

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    Kevin, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 8:26pm

    TIVO

    Well I have two Replays (because they are superior to the TIVO) and the main thing people envy is that I never have to see commercials. Perhaps the Bush administration is running ABC because it's definitely a view of the world devoid of reality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:22pm

    Its just because theyre Australian, don't worry about it guys...=)

     

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    Anon, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Nothing susprise's me..

    hey, proud-british-retard, ABC is Australian, which has, in fact, deep british roots.....

     

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    Dan, Jul 8th, 2006 @ 9:56pm

    Tivo

    I think Anonymous Coward is right. Paying $100/month for DirectTV premium channels with HD package is absurd. I'd rather pay $100/month for the programs I watch--HD movies, TCM, Discovery, History, etc. That way, the good programs would do better and the bad ones would dissappear faster.

     

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Jul 9th, 2006 @ 4:13am

    Ad-free: The costs

    In the UK we pay £131.50/$243.41 a year for our "TV Licence". This funds four ad-free TV channels, eight major national ad-free radio stations and a plethora of "local" ad-free radio stations. (It's only £44/$81.45 per year if you have a black-and-white TV, and free if you are of pensionable age!)

    The BBC also find enough surplus money from that to fund some of the world's most used message board systems informational websites and a news infrastructure that's considered by many to be one of the best in the world.

    Now, the US has a much larger population; I guess you could do something on the same scale for, say, $100/year per family. So why don't you? ;-D

     

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    ChagrinCyclone, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    New Business Model

    "The purpose of TV is not to entertain you. It is to deliver the commercials. That is the business model. Once the ability to deliver the message is lost, then the business model fails. If you don't want commercials, then you must accept a new model." Here's a new model for you - instead of "live" feeds 24x7, a majority of which few people care about, have the station's channel be similar to PPV. You can order up shows whenever you want them, whichever episodes you want. For example, you could order Seinfield reruns at 25 cents a pop, and the latest American Idol episode for $5. But here's the kicker, instead of the blank PPV screen you usually get, have all commercials. In addition to the normal commericals, they could run promo codes to get free episodes of American Idol or for an hour of free orders so they don't have to pay to give people incentive to watch. Especially if an interface allowed for surfing through potential buys and commercials to appear simultaneously (similar to the TVguide channel only more efficient). This way everyone wins - the commerical sponsors still get viewed air time, the viewers have a choice of paying extra (like a DVR only built into the cable interface) or watching commercials for their television, and the cable company still gets their money while eliminating the DVR companies in the process and regaining their television empire.

     

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    Mike, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 8:08am

    Bunch of Chicken Littles

    There's no worry in this. Why?

    Because the companies that manufacture DVR hardware know that people want to skip commercials. Unless there is a law put in place, there is simply no way in hell the DVR manufacturers are going to shoot themsleves in the foot by creating a box that strikes down what nearly every DVR user wants. They might as well create a box that "sometimes" records the entire show.

    Before I got the DVR I hit mute during the commercials and used that time to talk to the family, open up a book, or hit the bathroom.

    We rarely watch anything live now unless we are already recording two other shows :).

    And even when we do watch something live, we start 15 minutes late so we can still skip the commercials.

    My kids who are 8 and 10 have mastered the commercial skip as well. I think they would burn down the family room if I took that away :)

     

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    Paul, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 9:53am

    People Pay For It Anyways

    Guess where all that money goes for the Season 1-8 DVD packages? They dump DVRs, I dump them, its simple. I use GBPVR and have the commercials cut right out of the finished file.

     

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    Scot, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    Re: On principal, I don't mind commercials

    I don't mind commercials either when the peogramming is free. I am old enough to remember when there were no more than three choices for TV and no monthly fees. Wasn't the argument for cable's fee based service that you paid for TV programming because there weren't supposed to be any commercials? Are we subscribing now to be forced to watch commercials? I can do without the big networks programming. I know my family could have done without seeing Janet Jackson's breast on prime time TV!

     

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    Scott, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 10:22am

    I don't watch TV anymore anyway!

    I stopped watching TV a long time ago anyway. If I want to watch something, I go to the movies or rent a DVD from RedBox at McDonald's for $1 a night.

     

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  126.  
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    Brandon Heat, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 10:42am

    Re: people like you frighten me

    Sheltering yourself and those around is only bound to create a very rude awakening for your children at some point later in life.

     

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    choppersRule, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 12:14pm

    Here's why most TV sucks now (except 24)...

    "ABC's head of ad sales actually claimed that consumers don't really care about the commercial skip feature"

    What planet is this guy from? Hiring people like him clearly explains why ABC is in the dumper.

    If skipping commercials is not THE #1 reason to by a DVR it's certainly #2. Enough so that NBC shifted their time slots slightly in an attempt to screw up DVR users.

    I realize that commercials are the networks bread & butter and that they are desperate.

    However, they need to be careful when releasing ignorant comments about what "other people really care about." They clearly don't know what I care about. I hate commercials!!! They annoy me to no end - except maybe during the “stuper” bowl.

    It is time for a new business model. In a digital world almost anything is possible. If the people at the networks can't deliver new ideas to change the current model bring in new people who can.

    In the meantime ABC, don't mess with us and our toys; it's not your place in this world!!! (FYI - I still use a VCR - for now)

     

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    Jim, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 12:23pm

    ABC

    Well, since ABC is probably one of the worst channels around, I have blocked it so it is not even viewable in my house. They are a bunch of nitwits who care only about themselves. They need to realize commercials with taste not something they try to forcefeed or brainwash you with would work more in favor. Honey brings more flys than vinegar.

     

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  129.  
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    Wire Cramped, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    Re: New Business Model

    Now I think that is the best solution offered. I would pay extra (minor ammounts only) for my shows. I wouldnt mind the inbetween times being a "commercial only period" until I bought or re-watched one of my shows. I think the buy 2 episodes get one free if you buy a pepsi 24pack with promo code on it works and this would eliminate everyones hassles. AND this would still allow advertisers to make ads and thus pay for the air time.

    My 2 seconds (fastfowrd those also)

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 2:54pm

    Couch Potatoes, Get a life!

    If this is even moderately important to you, then you need to get off your butt, and do something, anything! Nothing like the boob tube to waste time.

     

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  131.  
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    Susan, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 4:39pm

    marketing sales lizards to screw up tv new horizon

    My main reason for buying a TIVO was to skip annoying commercials. That doesn't mean I skip all commercials as some are rather amusing, others are interesting, and a few are informative. The ones I skip are the ones that are offensive, boring, just plain stupid, of zero interest to me, or that I've seen a bazillion times already. Some commercials are so over-shown after a while they begin to fall into the boring slot.

    Nevermind the commericals that are inappropriate, as I deem, for my children to watch. Don't even think of going toward telling me what I don't want my children to see and how I can go about it: make me not be able to skip the inappropriate parts of a show or a commercial and I'll sell my equipment on ebay and go off the grid of broadcast television and listen to my Sirius satellite radio and save some money in the process. Directv would like to hear that, I'm sure.

    My secondary reason for buying a TIVO was to record shows that I want to watch but am not, for whatever reason, available to watch when they're broadcast.

    For the ABC ad exec to not 'fundamentally believe' that people use TIVOs to skip commercials is outright short sighted. Maybe if the ad-execs actually put their minds to some more creative thinking in making commercials more interesting then people wouldn't want to skip them.

    It is my opinion that they're trying to rob citizens owning TIVO and DVR equipment from our right to avoid that which we choose to not watch, for whatever our personal reasons may be.

    Shame on you, ABC, for making so much to do about nothing that should worrry you.

    Shame on you, ABC ad exec, for trying to censor my viewing choices in a land of free speech. If you want to control the actions of the people who you 'serve' then go to a communist country. I hear that North Korea is looking for a few good men...

     

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  132.  
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    Life is a box of chocolates and beer, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 5:24pm

    Re: marketing sales lizards to screw up tv new hor

    Agreed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133.  
    identicon
    John, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    you know where this is going...

    of course now you know that all the ads will be in the form of product placement in the fracking show itself... sigh. Maybe it's time to go outside and take up a sport instead of watching the boob tube.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  134.  
    identicon
    The Wog, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 6:44pm

    Without Advertising, life itself would be impossib

    Withouts Ads, ABC could die. If ABC fails, NBC and CBS would be next. It would amount to Broadcast Television Network extiction.

    Which geographical areas will anthropologists analyze a million years from now to deduce how this major catastrophe could have taken place? My guess is landfills.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don't let advertising happen to you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135.  
    identicon
    Gary Rains, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 8:59pm

    TV

    I just don't watch TV. I have other things that interest me. If you don't watch they will be gone.HA!HA!HA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136.  
    identicon
    Mike Gallagher, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 11:20pm

    ABC is still around?

    Honestly, with the exception of Monday Night Football, which isn;t even broadcast by ABC anymore, I can't even remember the last time I watched a show on that channell.

    Jon Stewart for President!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  137.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:51am

    Box Seasons

    Now this is why I don't have TV and I just buy the seasons of the show's I want when they come out on DVD. No commercials at all, and it's cheaper than TV, plus I get a product to keep.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138.  
    identicon
    Jon, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 8:55am

    Re: On principal, I don't mind commercials

    Or, and I'm going out on a limb here, just don't get cable if the price goes up. OMG, just don't watch TV!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139.  
    identicon
    Jon, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 8:56am

    Re: Ford to eliminate the trunk.

    actually, you can take away my car's trunk WAY before taking away my ffw ability.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140.  
    identicon
    Who Cares, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 9:22am

    ?

    Gee lets see how many have never heard of McDonalds, Pepsi, Coke, Chevy, Ford, Budwieser, Coors, TAMPAX, etc.....so why do they keep advertising the same crap over an over? Because it's not directed at adults, but future consumers our children. Brainwash them now to buy you product tommorow, plain and simple. I know because my mother was in advertising for ten years.

    And besides the fact I find 75% of commercials offensive, my child should not be exposed to violence, sex, or alcohol during a commercial. So Mr. Lucas Brice, I did buy my dvr for the sole purpose of skipping offensive brainwashing commercials directed towards my kid.

    And any Station period that trys to stop my capability from doing that, will just be locked out on my cable box and will not be watched!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  141.  
    identicon
    Jamie Kellner, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 10:29am

    Why do I have a DVR?

    So I can ONLY watch the commercials. My DVR is setup to skip all regular programming and only record commerials from all 5 bazillion channels I receive.

    I'm thinking of applying for a job with Ford and get in on the elimination of the trunk idea. What a gold mine!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142.  
    identicon
    Franssu, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: On principal, I don't mind commercials

    Exactly what I've done. As a fellow volunteer told me in a sci-fi con recently, all that worth viewing is on DVD. Let the broadcasters who don't have a clue do the same thing as RIAA and MPAA : die of their own stupidity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  143.  
    identicon
    Hodor, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 10:09am

    Product placement and other in-show ads

    Besides the obvious product placement type ads you see in most all TV shows these days, I believe that networks are going to resort to full, in-show ads soon. Instead of the little promos for new shows at the bottom right of the screen, prepare for full product ads. It is the future. Try to skip those with your TiVo...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2006 @ 6:40am

    "Because it's not directed at adults, but future consumers our children." Great, I'm an adult and there are no children here. Where do I sign up for an exemption?

    DVDs - yes they are great but SO expensive and you have to wait quite a while for them. If you want to watch it in time to discuss at the water cooler then you have to watch on TV. Not to mention that there are only 3-3 episodes of a show on one DVD. Don't tell me you can't fit more on each disc. I hate spending the time to rip and convert to Divx for easier storage. Why can't they just include a Divx version on the disc?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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