My homebrew DVR setup has commercial detection now so I don't even need to skip. It's pretty neat but at the same the time it's rather pathetic that I felt the need to install it in the first place or worse, spend all this money setting it up.
That's just it, Lauriel; the young male demographic isn't key anymore. If you haven't already I would recommend taking a look at Johanna Blakley's talk at TED in which she demolishes the perception that demographics are a valuable metric in our online culture.
I feel your wife's pain. That happened to me one time too many so I ended up putting together my own PVR with a spare server and some Hauppauge HD encoders. It was expensive to start and I'm still paying up the nose for my Comcast subscription but it's still the only way to access all the content I want to watch the way I want to watch it. I've even got a program running that strips commercials out of my recordings. Soon, very soon, I think I'll be able to go all online and my hat is off to those that have already cut the (television) cord.
That certainly sounds like a good justification to keep them as an opt-in system. Perhaps the number of people who are online all the time has not quite yet reached critical mass but I have no doubt that we'll get there eventually.
Sounds like a great business model to me, AC. If every network streamed to Netflix and got dropped by cable providers as a result I would finally be able to ditch my cable TV and go online only. Yes please.