ABC, ESPN To Put Shows On Cable VOD Systems — But You Gotta Watch The Ads
from the no-fast-forward-for-you dept
Broadcast networks have been toying with offering their shows over cable operators’ video-on-demand services as they try to grasp the idea that people don’t want to be forced to watch programs on a set schedule. NBC and CBS have tried selling individual episodes via VOD, while the networks flipped out when Cablevision wanted to offer a networked DVR service that would essentially make all their shows available on demand. The sticking point has been revenues: the networks haven’t been able to figure out a decent business model, since people don’t really want to pay for “free” TV. Now, ABC and ESPN say that some of their shows will be available through Cox’s VOD system for free, but with one catch — users won’t be able to fast-forward through the ads. The networks say they they’re still working on how much advertising to insert into the shows, so there’s a chance that they’ll approach things a little differently than the 20 or so minutes of ads they cram into an hour-long broadcast, or perhaps even run the shows without interstitial advertising and show spots at the beginning. As long as they keep things reasonable, this seems like a decent trade-off. People who want the convenience of watching on their own schedule and skipping the ads can pay the monthly fee for a DVR, while people who don’t want to pay can watch the VOD versions. Perhaps the bigger point lurking in the background is that this is another small step towards unbundling the shows from the networks.
Comments on “ABC, ESPN To Put Shows On Cable VOD Systems — But You Gotta Watch The Ads”
And if you don't...
…they’ll sue you for copyright infringement.
Or possibly ‘stealing’ TV!!
The problem with unbundling is that the networks use popular shows to build an audience for new shows. On demand limits this. ESPN can get away with it, but it becomes more difficult with other programming.
The real problem is that then they can’t sell you 60 channels worth of junk with maybe 10 channels you actually want.
what the hell are you talking about?
These bundles are precisely why I am leaning towards cancelling my TV service. I only watch maybe 5 channels but in order to get these channels, all commercial supported btw, I am forced to buy over 100 channels I never watch. I suspect I am not in the minority. So how is this building a huge audience for those garbage channels?
The reason you watch time-shifted TV with
a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is too keep from having to watch the commercials, to fast-forward or 15/30second jump forward.
This will push people into getting a TiVO or Cablebox with DVR capability and be religious about setting up record times.
If I am good at setting the Record Time correctly, then I will not have to ‘buy’ the Video later and be ‘forced’ to watch the commercials.
BTW; Some of the best TV -IS_ the 15-second or 30-second shows (the commercials).
Vision of Disorder baby, they rocked hard!!! HAHA, cheer up people!
It's a start
On Demand with non-skippable commercials is better than broadcast-only with non-skippable commercials.
Re: It's a start
I’ll second that. It’s a start. Being able to watch shows on my own schedule (or after the kids have finally fallen asleep) is wonderful news.
Re: Re: It's a start
What do you think that nifty cable broadband connection comes in handy for? Not for downloading commercials. Oh wait I have downlaoded some commercials in the past. If the advertisers wanted to they could make the ads worth watching. I have a subscription to a service which sends me a DVD each month full of some of the most amazing and entertaining commercials gathered from all over the world. When I watch them and the making of featuretts I often wish more commercials were as good as these. If most advertisers don’t want to put a little more effort into makeing the ads they really can’t expect me to sit through really boring and often anoying ads and curse them for wasting my time.
my dvr is free…
DVR isnt so great
DVR is not as great as you think it may be. The problem with DVR is the # of tuners and the # of concurrent recording streams.
Many people can only record 1 show at a time with a DVR. What happens when there are two shows that come on at the same time that you want to watch? Now you have to choose one over the other.
Networks have constantly aired great shows against each other. The losing show, no matter how good it is, will get low ratings and eventually cancelled. This could be your second most favorite show.
With OnDemand, you wont have to worry about that. I am sure there will be trackable ratings, not that neilson crap. You can watch whatever popular show you want. I am all for it. It can actually compliment your DVR.
Re: DVR isnt so great
Wow, I have an impossible time finding even one show I want to watch and someone has more then two? Either they have really low standards or I have impossibly high… and I’m guessing it’s not the latter.
There is always the option I choose, go out side and get some exercise. Maybe play with the kids? If your Tivoing more then one show your just adding to the time your already waisting in front of the TV. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I’m not the one popping pills for every health problem known to man.
Re: DVR isnt so great
“DVR is not as great as you think it may be. The problem with DVR is the # of tuners and the # of concurrent recording streams.
Many people can only record 1 show at a time with a DVR. What happens when there are two shows that come on at the same time that you want to watch? Now you have to choose one over the other. “
You would be hard pressed to find 3 shows you like which happen to air at the same time. Unless you watch any old thing that comes on. Most DVR’s come with 2 tuners which allow you to record 2 shows. If there is a 3rd show guess what? Most households have more than one TV in them. 🙂 2 shows recording while you watch your 3rd show on another set. I used to work for Time Warner Cable and most of our customers have multiple DRVs. So I fal to see this problem you speak of…
Fuck that. The reason I pay for the DVR and cable in general is to watch what I want without the ads.
DVR minus Commercials
1. My DVR has two tuners so I can record 2 concurrent programs. My TV has two tuners as well so, if I get really ambitious, I can record two programs while I watch two more side by side on my HDTV
2. It’s gotta be clear to all but the smallest of minds that if the networks have to FORCE us to watch commercials so we can see the program then most people do not WANT to watch commercials. So, my conclusion is that commercials are really not as valuable as the networks tell the advertisers and that the advertisers believe.
3. If the commercials are properly grouped, we have a well organized space for bio-breaks.
Or you could just download them via BT with no commercials ripped from HD sources. It really isn’t hard to do either so dont go saying most people wont be able to figure it out. If you’re gonna bitch about watching it on a TV and not a computer monitor, then u can burn the eps to DVD quickly with Nero for example among other programs. Dont want to waste a DVD? Use an RW. Or, you can buy the Apple TV for 300 and watch it through that. OR, buy one of those TVs with the harddrive’s in them, or a TV with an 9 pin monitor input. There are a significant number of TVs with them now and just hook it up to your comp. You now have a 42 inch widescreen monitor/TV.
If you cant/wont do any of these things then you need to stop being a dinosaur and get with technology or live in the past and deal with your commercials. You dont want to watch ad space? Then adapt and learn.
To Anonymous Moron
Anonymous Coward said:
“Many people can only record 1 show at a time with a DVR. What happens when there are two shows that come on at the same time that you want to watch? Now you have to choose one over the other. “
Most people have more than 1 TV. Record on one, watch on the other. Or get a dual tuner for your DVR if you really care that much.
“Networks have constantly aired great shows against each other. The losing show, no matter how good it is, will get low ratings and eventually cancelled. This could be your second most favorite show.”
What’re you a freaking idiot? You do nothing but post stupid remarks on every article Techdirt posts. You mean to tell me that 24 will be cancelled because it got a .2 less than Heroes in the Nielsen ratings, or vise versa? There are plenty other examples too. Will Lost be cancelled due to American Idol? Or simply end when they said it would and continue to get good ratings? Anonymous Moron thinks it’ll go.
The guy who posted after you proved you wrong also with the tuner issue.
So let me see...
…I have to pay extra for VOD from my cable service. So now you mean to tell me that not only do I have to pay extra for on demand service, now I have to watch the commercials too? That has to be the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard of.
I don't see the value...
Why would I choose to watch their On Demand recording and be forced to watch ads when I can simply record the show when it airs with my DVR then skip through the ads? Am I missing something? This would be something I’d use on those very few occasions when my DVR’s programming get’s messed up and doesn’t record a show. And then only if it was free. If I have to pay for this guess what I’ll be doing? Torrents anyone?
What if you only wanted to watch the end of a show???? Would it really make you play the whole show, including commericials, to get to the part you want to see? This idea stinks.
Have any of you watched shows on the networks web site? I think that is a great idea. They do have some commercials, but very few and you can skip to the end if you so desire. This is the first time I have read Tech Dirt and they have been reasonable. I think commercials are a fair trade off for free TV on demand. Watching a couple minutes of commercials is not going to hurt anyone. The funniest response is the guy talking about download and ripping content to dvd. This guy is talking about spending hours (for you over specific, “hours” is meant to be dramatic not literal) to avoid 10 min. of commercials. That seems worth it to me. Commercials are not evil, just ignore them instead of rageing against them and you will have a much happier life.
It takes 10 minutes to burn to a DVD for me you idiot.
“But You Gotta Watch The Ads”
Actually no, no I don’t! In fact, I don’t even have to watch the show! I can go watch something that allows me to fast forward, or I can cancel my cable service.
Good luck trying to convince people that commercials are good. Most people who post here are ignorant idiots who dont understand business. These techdirt communists think everything should be free. What do you expect, they just sit on their butts all day on someone elses dollar.
Using a DVR to commercial skip is stealing!!!