The Infomercial Channel

from the just-what-we-need dept

Cox Communications is testing out a new cable channel that will be, basically, all infomercials, all the time. However, when you look more closely, it’s actually a lot more interesting than that. Knowing that standard commercial-based advertising may be losing some viability, they’re really testing the ability of fully sponsored shows to work. So, instead of pure infomercials, they’ll also have things like Sony sponsoring videos of their artists. It’s actually nice to see a company experimenting with different business models rather than just accusing people who skip commercials of being thieves.

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Comments on “The Infomercial Channel”

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LittleW0lf says:


As a Cox San Diego consumer, I’ve taken a look at the FreeZone, and can definately see its usage. It is important to note that this is NOT a “24 hour/7 day” infomercial channel, but more a Free Video on Demand system where a user has complete control over what “commercials” they will watch. And it isn’t all commercials.

How the system works is that a user flips to a particular digital channel, channel 998. Using their remote control, they can flip through all of the content listed on a rather friendly User Interface. They then select the content they wish to play, and then hit the play button on the remote. They can skip forward or replay the content by using the forward and backward buttons on the controller, and can pause or stop the display of content at any time. Essentially like a remote control.

The big thing I’ve seen about the system is that content can be anything…it doesn’t necessarily have to be infomercials. They currently have a lot of public service announcements up on the site, and have some fairly long documentaries on stuff available in the San Diego area, like the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Legoland, and other attractions, which people might be interested in watching. And some of the content, though purely advertisements, are actually a lot of fun to watch, like the Pepsi Commercial (in which a lot of work went into making the commerical fun to watch.)

I see this as the best of both worlds, it is a great tool for the public to find interesting information on current events, free access to documentaries, and also a push to make commercial advertisers actually come up with good content which will make users much more likely to want to watch them instead of flipping the channel during commericals, walking away to the bathroom, etc.

After all, how many people now-a-days actually watch the superbowl for the game…most people I know watch the commercials and skip the game! Well, except for last year, when the companies forgot that it was the good commercials which drew the crowds.

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