Showtime Spoils Dexter Finale During Unskippable Pre-Menu Promo

from the ***SPOILER-AL---never-mind dept

The best way to get people hooked on a TV series is to add a bit of suspense and a well-done storyline leading up to either a cliffhanger or a shocking resolution. Like movies and games, it’s not much fun to plunge yourself into something whose ending has already been detailed by careless forum members, siblings or those jackasses/heroes (P.O.V.-dependent) doing a spoiler-heavy driveby.

Of all the entities you’d expect might possibly prematurely inform you of Goose’s death/The Crying Game’s penis/Snape kicking the oxygen habit, the last one on that list has got to be the unskippable ad playing on your newly purchased DVD:

I bought Dexter season 6 on Blu-ray because I’m the sort of dork who feels bad about piracy and still buys all my media.
Every time I put in a disk (not first watch, mind you, every… time… ) there is a 3 minute ad for Showtime that I can’t skip and can’t fast forward.

Guess that’s what I get for giving them my stupid money instead of stealing… 0_o


Keep this up, Showtime (and assorted movie/game trailers), and you’re going to find a whole lot more people shopping with these little things. Why?


*Other services provided: removal of DRM, removal of region-specific coding, removal of price tag(s).

Do I really need to be reminded multiple times that every frickin’ g-man in the US of A will be hounding my piratey footsteps the moment I burn off a copy of this disc? Do I really need to be reminded that, yes, this studio/channel produces a great number of other entertainments and would I mind terribly just taking a look at the extended, unskippable ad?

Nobody wants “unskippable” anything on media they’ve purchased. Gamers don’t want unskippable cut scenes. Movie/TV fans don’t want unskippable FBI/ICE/MPAA warnings and studio promos. Music fans don’t have to deal with this. You don’t fire up a CD and have to listen to Small Print Guy telling you that reproducing this track without the express consent, etc. etc. etc. Why does everyone else have to put up with it?

Try looking at it from your customers’ point of view. They just want to watch the thing they actually paid for. In a day when infringement is blamed for shutting down the entire global economy, do you really think it’s a good idea to a.) make paying customers sit through enough scary legal logos to fill an entire T-shirt, and b.) make paying customers regret their purchase even before the MANDATORY pre-menu promo is over?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, expect to find fewer and fewer people willing to give you their “stupid money” in exchange for your even stupider product.

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Comments on “Showtime Spoils Dexter Finale During Unskippable Pre-Menu Promo”

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anon says:

Re: Re:

I would not mind watching trailers , honestly if they don’t destroy the experience of watching a movie or tv show, say a 5 minute advertisement break in the middle of a movie and 5 minutes after every episode on a dvd.

But if I am going to spend my time and equipment viewing there advertisements I want the dvd for free, I am not going to pay to watch advertisements and make the studios even more money than they are already making on me buying the dvd.
So yes let there be advertisements but don’t charge me for the content I was going to purchase, then I will accept it.

From the Desk of the Executive says:

Re: Re:

Hello chattle..err…”consumers”, this is The Executive.

We wanted to let you know that we take your opinions seriously. We’ve recently received your feedback concerning [POINT OF VIEW] and wanted to let you know that we’ve researched this issue.

I’m happy to report that there’s no issue. We’ve found that the [POINT OF VIEW] of the customer is generally [FACING THE TV] and it thus in a perfect position to view our un-skippable content.

Thank you for not realizing you could’ve just pirated this for free, I’m happy to have resolved your issue.

Highly Paid Executive

Anonymous Coward says:

That’s why I don’t like the ‘next time on [SHOW NAME]’ clips a lot of shows end with. At times the idiots who make them spoil the ending.

For example, one season of Survivor I was watching, season 12, had a promo asking if Terry, who had won the last 5 immunity challenges in a row and would have gone home without doing so, would win yet another immunity challenge next episode. The problem? They SHOWED someone else wearing the immunity necklace at tribal council in the promo!

Also, Deal or No Deal would frequently show clips from the next episode of a really good looking board, which almost always met the person would start knocking out all their high value #’s at that point. That’s one reason I stopped watching the show.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And it’s amusing how out of touch they are. I mean, if a damn third of the people are consuming illegal content then there’s something wrong with a law that criminalizes that many ppl, with your damn business model or as it seems to be the case, BOTH.

Anonymous Coward says:


*Other services provided: removal of DRM, removal of region-specfic coding, removal of price tag(s).”

Most importantly is the price. Honestly if the pirates removed all that sh*t you refer to and still charged the same price, nobody would bother.

It’s all about the price Tim, wake up!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Most importantly is the price. Honestly if the pirates removed all that sh*t you refer to and still charged the same price, nobody would bother.

It’s all about the price Tim, wake up!”

No, because if the price is the same but people can avoid dealing with all that nonsense (DRM, unskippable ads, etc.) then people would have no problem with paying it. It’s a superior product. Superior products can often, and better said often do, have higher price tags. However, you said if they charged the same, meaning the price would be the same for a superior product. I believe in that case most people would prefer the pirate version.

Same end product, without all the crap, at the same price = WIN!

People DO NOT just want free stuff. Contrary to misinformed and not popular opinion. Yes, people will take free stuff if presented with the opportunity to do so. But they don’t just want that, they want better stuff (even if it has a price attached to it).

And a great example of that is the smartphone market. Yeah, you can get that smartphone that has this OS on it for free when you sign up for a contract. Or you can PAY anywhere between $100-300 for a MUCH BETTER smartphone on the same 2 year contract. Guess what the majority of people do? Pony up for the better phone. Why is that? Oh, because they realize that the “free” offering more often is not the better offering, as such they pay for the superior product.


Fickelbra (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s not about the price. It is the fact that a lot of DVD content is crap with unskippable ads. One of the best series of DVD’s I have ever seen were for Dragon Ball Z. In addition to having all the episodes, they also included a marathon mode. This mode removed the intro of the show, and also removed the portions of the show that did “The next time, on Dragon Ball Z”. The transition between episodes was essentially seemless. This is the type of quality that should be a no-brainer in any collection, but it is not. They spend more time figuring out how to place more ads and extract more money than they do ever trying to figure out how to make the product better.

Dirt_is_Fun (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:Netflix Auto-Queue Roll

Netflix started doing this with TV series they provide. Man is it addictive. The #1 best feature in my opinion for their service. Not only will it autoplay the next episode, but it automatically launches the episode you paused directly from the main show link. Awesome. Makes TV so much better.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Honestly if the pirates removed all that sh*t you refer to and still charged the same price, nobody would bother.”

Citation needed.

Meanwhile, people like me who buy content avoid buying content with such restrictions. Luckily I’m not a whore to the corporations you worship, so I manage to get a lot of stuff without that crap forced on me. It might mean that this new season of Dexter loses my purchase or the new crappy blockbuster you blew a small country’s GDP on making suck ass, but that’s not my problem.

“It’s all about the price Tim, wake up!”


And that is why you fail

/end Yoda

Sadly, you probably believe this lie, despite the huge levels of evidence to the contrary.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

” Honestly if the pirates removed all that sh*t you refer to and still charged the same price, nobody would bother.”

Honestly, if I was in the store and had 2 options:

1: Pay $5 and get movie on dvd, but DVD is region coded, locked with DRM, covered in threats of jail time, and has ads for things that I will be forced to watch with no option to skip.


2: Pay $20 and get DVD is a nice looking dvd case. It is DRM free and I can just hit play and enjoy my movie.

Guess what? I would pick up the $20 DVD and happily to check out.

Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A thought occurs to me reading this thread. Making a quality rip is a very demanding technical process which requires a good deal of knowledge; you really can’t just run something through a ripper and expect it to be good. What’s to stop a studio from DLing an excellent rip of one of their own properties and marketing it as a value-added product? I’d pay good money for a good rip w/o any “features”; I’d pay even more for a good rip from a studio with, say, “ScOrp” overlaid in the lower right hand corner. Now that’s quality!

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Piracy is not a problem of theft. It’s a customer service problem that needs to be fixed by content creators.”
-Gabe Newel of Valve Software

So aside from my quote I have a question.

Would you rather pay $5 to $40 US to have a bunch of in skiable advertisements that you cannot even fast forward through, and a 15 minute anti piracy ad where the spineless star of the movie is explains to you piracy is bad in the same scenario of skipping through ads?

Or would you rather just watch the movie you paid for to watch?

PaulT (profile) says:

This is a nice intersection of two things that annoy me about the way they try to market modern TV & movies. Unskippable trailers simply should not exist. At least I can understand the motivation and justification behind unskippable anti-piracy warnings, even though I believe they’re counter-productive and silly. But trailers? Advertisements on something you’re *bought* that will play every single time you run the disc whether you like it or not? It’s amazing that anyone is stupid enough to believe this is a good thing or will do anything other than annoy potential customers.

Then we have the annoying trend toward giving away *everything* in trailers. I can honestly say that I’ve gone from seeking out and anticipating trailers a decade ago to actively avoiding them. Far too many of them give away major plot twists or reveal things that you’d be better off not knowing before the movie starts, so I’d rather not see them even for anticipated movies. That’s right, the studios have driven me to *actively avoid their marketing*.

So, here we have the perfect storm of idiocy. The last 30 seconds of any TV program has no business being in any trailer. That this is a series that depends on surprise moments for much of its impact should make it a no brainer not to be included. But, to have the footage not only there, but in a way that forces people to look at it before the series starts? Pure stupidity.

We don’t have to go into the usual half-assed piracy argument that the trolls will probably start soon, you just have to ask a simple logic question – given that spoilers and unskippable content both devalue the product to the consumer, why on Earth would it make sense to combine the two? Even if buying the set was the only way people could possibly watch the season and piracy didn’t exist, why would this ever be a good idea?

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

given that spoilers and unskippable content both devalue the product to the consumer, why on Earth would it make sense to combine the two?

But wait, there’s more! Add DRM (region locks and others), huge release windows, prohibitive pricing and lack of portability (ie: you have to brak both the law and the DRM to have it on your computer) and you have the perfect anti-consumer product!

I am truly astonished the MAFIAA can stay afloat with that business model.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Advertisements on something you’re *bought* that will play every single time you run the disc whether you like it or not?

It was these that got me to start ripping DVDs I purchased specifically so that I could skip (and later, after I learned how, omit) all that crap.

Then we have the annoying trend toward giving away *everything* in trailers.

Trailers must be a really tricky thing. Those sorts of trailer are annoying, but I’m not sure they’re worse than the equally prevalent trailers that give you no real idea of what the movie is actually about. Both types make it less likely I’ll go see the movie.

Really, what I want in a trailer is the “elevator pitch” for the movie, and that’s something most trailers don’t give.

Colin (user link) says:

Was thinking something similar with the season 3 Community I just got. I have to sit through an unskippable “Piracy is not a victimless crime” screen, then something else about infringement, then something about INTERPOL, and then something in French about INTERPOL.

It’s true, piracy isn’t victimless. Neither, apparently, is paying for the damn thing.

Pixelation says:

Pop up Ads

My favorite are the pop up Ads that interrupt the tv show or movies while watching cable. I had one pop up and block the caption at the bottom during a movie. No way to read it. Fucking kick ass, man! Way to go. Make my experience awesome!

I’ve set my remote so channels that do that don’t show up anymore.

I keep thinking I wouldn’t get this if I pirated content instead of paying for it.

calicojones (profile) says:

To me, it’s about hindering my ability to be an informed consumer. If I go to buy a DVD at the store, I check it out to see what I’m getting for my money. What extras, if any, does it have? Is it Blu-ray? 3D? I make sure that I’m spending my money wisely.

Except that it doesn’t matter because there’s a very good chance that they’ve slipped in things that they didn’t tell you about. Unskippable ads, FBI warnings, auto-install programs, etc.

Why is it that, when I have JUST GIVEN YOU MONEY, do you see it as a great marketing opportunity?

I can tolerate ads, but unskippable ones? That’s just lazy programming. If seeing it once didn’t do the trick, the 50th time won’t do it either.

The FBI warnings always crack me up. If I bought it, I’M THE WRONG PERSON TO BE WARNING.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

The DVD menus for “Audition” and “Taxi Driver” were both major spoilers. I think even the artwork for “Taxi Driver” spoiled a major reveal. It’s sad that they have no concept for how movies are supposed to work.

Then again, an unskippable cut scene in a game is worse than any FBI warning. How many games did I quit playing because it kept making me watch a movie? A really bad movie.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

Or cutscenes that show your character doing something you’d rather be playing than watching. Jedi Academy has a boss battle where the first 30-45 seconds of it is a cutscene!

Or how about cutscenes in the middle of a boss battle? Star Trek Elite Force II stops THREE times during the borg boss battle to show you a useless cutscene, disorienting you and ensuring that you’ll get hit when it ends and the game resumes.

DannyB (profile) says:

They don't care -- they've already got your money.

They don’t care — they’ve already got your money. This is a DVD.

Now if it were a broadcast show, they would care. Having been spoiled, you might not watch the episode.

I can imagine them laughing uncontrollably and saying . . . .


This spoiler is part of their continuing efforts towards consumer dissatisfaction and revolt.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: They don't care -- they've already got your money.

Ah, but they should care, because while they might have the money from the person who bought it, that person is likely to tell others ‘avoid this’, and suddenly they don’t have money from them.

Honestly a grade-schooler would probably get it faster than them. 1 customer that feels like he got scammed = a whole lot of other people who might have been customers going elsewhere.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Usually when I insert a movie DVD it’s because, um, I want to watch the movie.

I know. Stupid of me.

Sometimes I’m interested enough to watch the ads, but the 35th time I insert the DVD, I just want to watch the fricken movie.

I don’t care if the ads are skippable. I don’t want to spend 20 minutes playing with the remote control before getting to the movie.

Something I find equally annoying is being forced to sit through 30 seconds of menu animation before I can hit Play. Yeah, your animated menu is so damned clever that I need it shoved in my face EVERY. FREAKIN. TIME.

That’s when I run DVD Shrink and create my own copy. I bought the movie to watch the movie, and I’m sorry if the studio can’t monetize every single viewing, but that’s just rough darts. Contrariwise, not a single one of those views costs them anything. If I want to go through the menu, I can hit the menu button on the remote; that’s what it’s there for. Otherwise I want to WATCH THE MOVIE I PAID FOR.

I’m always grateful (and usually surprised) when I find a commercial DVD that just plays the movie when I insert it.

Think I’m a captive audience? Wrong. I’m a pissed-off audience.

And that’s just part 1. Part 2 is where I hate it when the advertising department insists on telling you stuff you don’t want to know. T2 is my favorite example of that: the guys making it went out of their way and did all that work to bring the tension to a peak in the back halls of the Galleria when the Terminator and the good guy intersect with John between them… and suddenly Arnold says “Get down!” and shoots the T1000. Only, we already knew that Arnold was the good guy, because every single trailer basically said “OH LOOK, THE TERMINATOR IS THE GOOD GUY IN THIS MOVIE, ain’t that great?” Thanks, guys. I should have been on the edge of my seat for that. Instead I was sitting back, gnawing on my popcorn and thinking, “It’s about damn time they gave us some real action.”

So, yeah, add my voice to the complaints about spoiling trailers. Putting an unskippable spoiling trailer on the very DVD it’s advertising is… I don’t know. It’s like it’s a new KIND of stupid.

Fish says:

Little kids

I don’t understand why the feel the need for anything to happen besides the start of the legal content you purchased especially on kids content. It’s sort of a huge deal to start a flick for a two or three year old and have them go through the FBI warning, a bunch of crap that doesn’t relate to what you told them you were going to put on for them and them stand there until you can get to the menu, or search for the remote because the pos DVD player doesn’t work the menu from the buttons on the machine. We’ve gone to Netflix and Amazon only and every once in a while buy a DVD for the kids. The content industry is killing itself.

Digger says:

Next time try this sequence...

Insert the Bluray – wait for it to start, hit stop
hit stop, hit stop, hit stop (make sure it actually stopped)
hit menu
wait for it – boom – menu, without adverts.

oh wait – that’s regular dvds that do that – maybe blu-ray doesn’t?

Why the fuck did you sell out and buy blu-ray? Blu-ray fucking sucks donkey dick.

HD-DVD is way better than Blu-ray.

I will never buy Blu-ray.

I’d rather stick with old DVDs than pay a penny to Sony for a lesser quality high def format that they had to bribe onto the market cuz they couldn’t stand to lose yet another format war. Fucking wankers!

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Next time try this sequence...

“I’d rather stick with old DVDs than pay a penny to Sony for a lesser quality high def format that they had to bribe onto the market cuz they couldn’t stand to lose yet another format war. Fucking wankers!”

DVD’s are just fine, but I feel you should know that HD-DVD’s were rife with DRM that allowed the option for studios to put an encryption key on disc and if it didn’t match up to any of the keys on the HD-DVD player, it turned said player into a $400US paperweight and would no longer play any discs afterwards.

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