from the i'm-still-on-betamax dept

Both NBC Universal and CBS announced deals to put some of their shows out via video-on-demand networks today, selling individual episodes for 99 cents each (half the price Apple is charging for ABC shows for iPods). NBC’s deal is with DirecTV, which will sell commercial-free versions of some shows made in-house by the network that run on its broadcast or cable channels; Comcast will sell its viewers versions of four CBS series, just hours after they go out on the air, with commercials still included — but only in Comcast markets with CBS affiliates owned by the network. This is a sizable shift for the broadcast networks, which have resisted VOD offerings and even DVRs. But like the “start over” feature NBC announced with Time Warner, they’re little more than a start. A limited number of shows, a limited number of markets — this will probably be met with limited interest, particularly when people can buy DVR service for about $10 a month. Broadcast networks need to figure out a comprehensive strategy to move away from the rigid broadcast schedule — if somebody wants to watch a show, why are the networks so insistent that it must be watched on their schedule?

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “NBC, CBS Turn To VOD”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
gary says:

Get a tivo

I rarely watch shows when they air. Between work and kids I can’t schedule my life around the networks schedule. I view when I can. I tivo the few shows I like (which is only 3 at this point) and watch them when I feel like it. I rent dvds of old shows I like (gotta love netflix). I wouldn’t pay to download a show because it just isn’t worth the money.

Laura Sydell (user link) says:

Re: Get a tivo

Laura Sydell here. I’m a reporter with National Public Radio and I’m working on a piece about the deals that just got made with DirectTV and Comcast. Specifically, I’m looking into what this would mean for consumers. It would be great to chat with you and get your thoughts on tape. Any chance you are interested and around? I’d need to speak with you in the next hour or so. Or at least by 2:00 PM EST today — November 8. If you’re interested give me a call or email me how I can get in touch. I’m at 415-503-3164.
Hope to hear from you.
Laura Sydell

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

I assume that's a rhetorical question?

The reason that networks care about what time you watch their show is simple (and it’s the answer to every question any consumer has about why a company does things) – MONEY.

The networks can charge more for advertising during prime time than they can for the 1:00-2:00 pm weekday slot, so the networks put the popular shows on during the times when they can charge the most money and fill the rest of the schedule with re-runs and other crap.

If NBC lets you watch new episodes of Law & Order at some time other than what they want, they don’t make as much money because you’re not seeing their “prime time advertisements”.

Col. Jack Oneill says:

It amazes me what people pay for

DVR for $10/month? MythTV free, Freevo free. The only problem I have is I still forget to set my MythTV to record just like I do with the VCR. So I just hop on the “original instant messaging and file sharing network you never hear about but has been around since 1988” and download the episodes. In fact recently it’s been better. I don’t have HDTV service, but last night I downloaded all of this season’s Alias and Smallville episodes ripped from HDTV broadcast with the commercials edited out. Probably looks better on an actual HDTV, but watching it on my TV through the component outputs of my XBOX is definitely better than my standard analog cable service.

Laura Sydell says:

Re: It amazes me what people pay for

I’m a reporter with National Public Radio and I’m doing a story on the deal that just came down. I’d like to talk to consumers like yourself about what they think. Any chance you’re around and would want to chat? I’m on a deadline for today’s All Things Considered so I’d need to speak to you in the next hour or so. Right now it’s 12:40 EST.
You can call me at 415-503-3164. Hope to hear from you.
Laura Sydell

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...