Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

CBS, NBC to Offer TV Shows for 99 Cents 303

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stepping-towards-on-demand dept.
According to an AP report. "CBS and NBC have announced deals to offer replays of prime-time programs for 99 cents per episode, shifting television toward a sales model that gained popularity with downloaded music." But the shows will only be available over Comcast on Demand, not for download.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

CBS, NBC to Offer TV Shows for 99 Cents

Comments Filter:
  • by The_Rippa (181699) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:02PM (#13979731)
    For the cost of fifty shows you can just get a Tivo.
    • by BushCheney08 (917605) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:05PM (#13979765)
      And for the cost of another 300 shows you can have it activated.

      Note: I love my TiVo and think it's worth every penny.
    • Make that 63 shows the first month and 14 thereafter and now you are required to have 217 for the year (regardless) because of their mandatory 1 year service agreement.

      I'm not saying it's not a good idea to own a Tivo, I'm just offering the cost associated with Tivo.
    • But if you miss the show, the tivo is pointless.

    • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:39PM (#13980079)
      I am getting excited about the shift towards internet viewing, and would actually prefer cheap rental over buying for video, and as a consumer don't really care about rented material being highly DRM'ed (purchased is anothering).

      But this particular service isn't all that exciting. You need to have DirectTV's or Comcast's DVR already in order to use the service. That means that I could have been recording these shows and watching them whenever I wanted.

      The price wouldn't be too bad on it's own. I figure that reasonable internet rental prices prices are $0.50 for a 20 minute show, $1.00 for a 40 minute show, and $2.00 for a movie. But this is on top of the $50-70 dollars that you are already paying for cable or satelite. I have already payed to watch these shows, I am not going to pay again.
      • Now, imagine a world where your TiVo (or DVR) won't record your show, because it is available as a PPV download. Not possible? Imagine NBC and CBS and ABC stroking checks for millions of dollars a (season/quarter/year) to Comcast or DirecTV in return for blocking recording of these shows with the "standard" DVR function. Think of it as an internal, proprietary "record none" flag. In return, every dollar above a negotiated threshhold gets split between the content creator and the content provider.

        I hear mo
    • "For the cost of fifty shows you can just get a Tivo."

      Yeah, we don't need no steenking choices around here.
    • by rho (6063) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:00PM (#13980280) Homepage Journal
      Or $20/mo for Netflix. You're behind on the "hip" TV shows by a season or two, but in return you don't have to fiddle with stuff. Can you operate a mailbox? Can you operate your DVD player? You're golden.

      I tried downloading stuff from torrents, and you know what? It's annoying. It takes time, only 50% of the time can you make a hard-copy that you can play on your good TV without jumping through ridiculous hoops, and it requires keeping up with the latest and greatest P2P clients. None of these are attractive to anybody with more important things to do. People such as those who are gainfully employed and have high disposable income.

      "On demand" purchasing of TV shows is only worthwhile when you can purchase "on demand" ANY show, not just CBS or NBC. Short of that, I'll just watch the TV shows that are worth collecting as an entire season on DVDs from Netflix, as well as pretty much any movie I want.

  • by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:02PM (#13979734)
    NBC's offering will be through DirecTV. CBS will be through Comcast.
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:03PM (#13979747)
    We had our Comcast person hooking up a phone line to let the cable box talk to their service. At the last minute he asked, "do you have DSL?" We did, and now it looks like we have to use the actual phone to order OnDemand shows. We never have, since it's such a pain, though we constantly watch the free ones, expecially the kid shows.

    Of course, eMule works fine with DSL and the price of t.v. shows from that venue are quite competitive. For some reason, using the Internet as my Tivo doesn't fill me with a twinge of guilt.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:06PM (#13979784) Homepage Journal
      That's really wacky. It makes sense on satellite but basically all cable boxes have talkback and most of your high-end cable boxes actually have a cable modem in them. Hell, the analog cable stuff that was used in santa cruz county since at least 1980 had talkback, which was used to determine if people were stealing cable (and, of course, to order pay-per-view movies.) However the module was externally connected with an in-line jumper that you could disconnect; you then had to order PPV manually - if you didn't have a diagnostic chip installed. IIRC the boxes were made by either jerrold or scientific atlanta and were among the most expensive boxes in use at the time.
    • Interesting. My cable service is through Charter, which I thought was part of the Comcast conglomerate. Our digital box only connects to cable and we get full listings, Video on demand, and pay per view with out having to dial out.

      -Rick
      • Charter and Comcast are independant companies. It is the number four cable television provider in the United States, apparently. See Wikipedia's article. [wikipedia.org]
        • Wow, they're a bunch of limey bastards. But I still get a blazing rock solid connection and high quality digital cable, HD, and VoD. I had an intermitant issue over the last few weeks. I called out the techs a few times (outside inspection, inside inspection, and the 3rd visit). On the 3rd visit they made sure that every cable, joint, barrel and splitter was brand new throughout the house. The replaced our 4 year old set top with a brand new one. And line checked each jack and watched half an hour of CSI wi
    • At the last minute he asked, "do you have DSL?" We did, and now it looks like we have to use the actual phone to order OnDemand shows. We never have, since it's such a pain, though we constantly watch the free ones, expecially the kid shows.

      Many of those cable boxes are able to phone home without using a phone line, it's just a question of what is implemented in the region. According to my cable guy... it phones home if you order shows and only at night... which he explained frustrated users who thought t
    • Our comcast on-demand doesn't require anything other than a cable connection. I have on-demand and nothing is hooked up to the box other then the cable line, defintely no phone line/etc.
      • It may be due to the fact that we got our cable box before cable-based Internet access was available at our house. Perhaps they've upgraded the infrastructure to the point where the cable box can talk back to the central office. I haven't tried lately and haven't really had a need for it.

        Generally speaking, the cost of getting DVDs at the video store is much less than OnDemand. Of course, you're basically paying for the convenience of avoiding the trip in the first place.
    • We had our Comcast person hooking up a phone line to let the cable box talk to their service. At the last minute he asked, "do you have DSL?" We did, and now it looks like we have to use the actual phone to order OnDemand shows. We never have, since it's such a pain, though we constantly watch the free ones, expecially the kid shows.

      I work for Comcast out of the New England region. None of our services require a phone line. All of our stuff(Digital cable, VoD, internet, VoIP) use cable lines.

      Also, for the
  • by b0r1s (170449) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:04PM (#13979749) Homepage
    First comes mainstream TV on the net.
    Then comes internet only TV.

    On-demand, lower broadcast costs, and the replacement of 'public access' with equal opportunity online broadcasts [vobbo.com] all push internet video over it's ancient predecesor.

    It's only a matter of time until the TV joins the newspaper in it's slow walk to the grave.
    • by cfulmer (3166) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:31PM (#13980018) Homepage Journal
      Aahh... But you forget a few things:

      (1) Streaming TV at broadcast quality requires a lot more bandwidth than most "broadband" ISP customers current get to their homes.
      (2) The backend link at most "broadband" ISPs has nowhere near enough capacity to stream a TV station per-customer. A lot of people have TVs on just as background -- this doesn't really happen with your computer. As a result, the models that "broadband" ISPs use to oversell their services go out the window.
      (3) The two main providers of broadband Internet service in the US are cable companies and phone companies. Both of these guys are going for the so-called "triple-play" of TV, video and Internet. THey have a vested interest in doing what they can to keep TV off the Internet. This will probably just come from not providing enough bandwidth.

      [#2 can be fixed, at least partially, through the judicious use of multicasting. But, that probably implies infrastructure in the ISP. They are going to expect to be compensated for this.]

      I use the word "broadband" in quotes, because it's a relative word. In the US, compared to dialup, it's broadband. Compared to what folks on other continents get, it's narrow.
    • TV stations were being relayed over CU-SeeMe and the Multibone over ten years ago. Legally. Without advertising. Free. This "new stuff" is old-hat - or would have been if users had pushed for the technology to be widespread. As it was, CU-SeeMe denegrated into porn and commercialism, then vanished into the abyss. The multibone persists, but virtually no ISP is being encouraged to carry it.
  • by bherman (531936) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:04PM (#13979755) Homepage
    I'm willing to bet they will push DC to enact laws that may recording TV illegal. Kiss your Tivo goodbye. This is just them being able to tell everyone, look people can get the TV show after it plays for a fair price, they shouldn't be able to record it on their own.
    • Well it seems already that their is a content protection mechanism on these new shows (which expires them when the next episode airs) so any attempt to record those shows on anything other then an authorised (by the protector) player is illegal thanks to the DMCA/EUCD (EUCD only applying in countries who have modified their laws to adopt it, which includes all of the new EU member states as it was part of their accession treaties). No need to pass laws to make recording TV illegal, the law is there alread
      • To respond to two points you made; removing the DRM from a DVD is not, technically illegal. Distributing tools that let you rip the DRM from DVDs is illegal. Also, this only applies if they move all TV to digital, through their proprietary boxes, broadcast, not if they keep pushing it over the air and through analogue cable. I have no doubt they fully intend to move to such a model, but it is really hard to move that large of an install base, many of whom refuse to make their current equipment useless and

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:05PM (#13979764)
    Channels like HBO and Showtime offer all of their programming free to subscribers on Comcast In Demand.

    What makes time-shifting Survivor worth 99 cents when I can time-shift The Sopranos for free?
    • Channels like HBO and Showtime offer all of their programming free to subscribers on Comcast In Demand.

      What makes time-shifting Survivor worth 99 cents when I can time-shift The Sopranos for free?

      I was wondering that too. I guess I can see their reason: HBO already has your money so double-billing would piss off costumers, but networks need to rake in money somehow. But if the commercials are still there then paying is a complete ripoff. They'd still be getting money from the advertisers.

      It's k

    • Because you're already paying specifically for HBO and Showtime, but not for NBC or CBS.
    • IIRC, you already pay extra for HBO. The "premuim" cost of the On-Demand service is already taken into account.

      But, hey, you can pay for The Sopranos too if you'd like...
  • If I missed a new episode of Battlestar Galatica and my DVR was broken and I had no broadband access
  • by compactable (714182) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:07PM (#13979786) Homepage
    ... $0.99 seems good, until you realize that this is a rental, not a purchase.

    Rental schemes in the music industry have yet to take off (Napster? Yahoo music?). iTunes provides ownership, which I think is a cause of it's popularity ...
    • How about the "theft" it not "piracy" is not "intellectual property rights infringement" crowd, instead of modding the parent as "insightful"/"interesting" instead put this guy straight:

      when, exactly, did you "purchase" any movie / software / music? Probably never. in all cases, you obtained some license to the material. for example, when you go to bestBuy and purchase a CD, all would agree that legally you have gotten a license to play the music privately - you have not, for example, been licenced to

    • iTunes provides ownership, which I think is a cause of it's popularity ...

      Also the idea that I don't need to pay $60 a month on top of that $99 to get cable service in the first place. I don't have cable, you see, so to me, the usefulness of iTunes TV shows will be when they start offering Comedy Central, SciFi channel, and HBO shows for $1.99 per episode. I can pick the couple of shows I like, and spend $100-$150 a year to view them rather than $60-$100 a month for a whole cable package with a bunch of

    • Music is MUCH different than Video. I rarly watch the same TV episode twice while a song will be listened to several times. This isn't the same pay per month get unlimited access as the rental music services either, though such offerings would be appealig in the TV world. Similar services exist in the form of HBO/etc though a on-demand HBO with a full library that has a monthly service fee instead of per view would be a huge hit. Kinda like netflix??.. Which isn't popular at all is it?
  • by warnerpr (9286) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:08PM (#13979802)
    From the article "The new DirecTV DVR comes with a hard drive that holds 160 hours of programming. One hundred hours are available for subscribers to record and store programs. The remaining 60 hours will be used by DirecTV to download programs that can be viewed on demand for an extra fee."

    So they are recording a few shows from NBC, push them to your PVR, then let you pay money to watch them. Are you able to record them using the PVR in the first place for free? Or does the software prevent you. IF they prevent you from recording them yourself, this could be a preview of the boradcast flag, well a proprietary version of it.
    • Comcast does not allow recording of OnDemand programs on their dvr.
      • I don't think this is what the poster is referring to --

        I believe the hardware used for this "on-demand" process is a DVR. Shows are "pushed" onto a seperate part of the hard drive for play back at a later date, if you pay the price. However, the show was still on tv the night before it was pushed. Does this system keep you from recording CSI when it was aired on TV? Because otherwise this seems to be a fee for someone who can't remember to set their DVR.
  • by gsfprez (27403) * on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:09PM (#13979813)
    or until DirecTV cancels MPEG-2 service, but i tell you what, i'm going to run my hacked DirecTiVo until the wheels fall off - screw everyone else and their lameastic ideas.

    My Hacked DirecTiVo works 1 step simple to get any show i want with my iPod (now, with Video), doesn't cost me per play, works great with my Mac, and doesn't have any DRM.

    These things are going to be insanely valuable in years to come because of their incredible feature set, lack of DRM, and compatibility with so many other devices.

    meanwhile, newer systems are going to be less and less useful and less interesting to me. HDTV doesn't make my skirt fly up compared to a well written show or good coverage of a hockey game... neither of which requires higher resolution.
    • Oh man ... the few hockey games that do get broadcast in HD are soooooo worth it. Granted, for plain-old sitcoms, HD doesn't add much, but for sports, the image quality is definitely worth it. Now, if they could find a way to make those behind the net "safety" nets invisible, we'd be really cooking. Overhead wire cams, a-la NFL would also be cool, but probably insanely annoying for those who forked out 2 bills to actually be at the game.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:11PM (#13979832) Homepage
    Me: OK - now I have my DVR so I can record shows.

    Satellite company: Hey, but if you miss a show, you can download it to your DVR!

    Me: Uh - that sounds pretty good. How much?

    Satellite company: $0.99!

    Me: Great - that's a better price than iTunes! So I can download it and watch it on my computer while I'm traveling -

    Satellite company: No, you have to watch it at home.

    Me: Oh. So can I sync it to my [insert portable video device here]?

    Satellite company: No, you can watch it at home.

    Me: But - could I just record the show with my DVR then? You know - the whole reason why I got a DVR?

    Satellite company: You could, right until we decide that you can't record any shows you can buy. Isn't that swell?

    Me: I knew there was a reason why I only use basic cable. This "digital crap but only through our proprietary boxes" is for losers.

    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
  • Deja vu? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mblase (200735) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:11PM (#13979834)
    CBS and NBC have announced deals to offer replays of prime-time programs for 99 cents per episode

    I remember when cable TV first appeared, and nearly every channel that existed did this for a monthly fee instead of per-episode. It was
    called "syndication".

    shifting television toward a sales model that gained popularity with downloaded music

    Minus the entire computer this time.
  • Unless they're willing to strip out the commericials, which is how they get paid in the first place, then I'll just stick to P2P.
    • Actually, both of these offerings are commercial-free in exchange for your 99 cents.
      • A shame. I'd much rather just get the original broadcast (with commercials) available for free on their website and archived for later viewing.

        This would, among many other things (like providing vastly more accurate viewer numbers, not some extrapolated bullshit from Neilsen), allow series to pick up more viewers midway through the season without ignoring it because they missed the beginning. Not to mention completely doing away with competition for timeslots (yes, some DVRs have multiple tuners, but TiVo d
  • by mmeister (862972) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:15PM (#13979869)
    This is proof that the Networks still don't understand this whole "internet" thing at all.

    1. While downloading for iPod is mentioned in the article, NBC and CBS are referring to OnDemand (same ol' crap that cable companies have been pushing for years) with their set top boxes.

    2. The article says that 99 cents is the cost, but it includes commercials. So you're paying $1 to watch a free show WITH commercials.

    3. NBC still believes there "aren't enough protections" to put their content on the internet.

    These guys don't realize that their shows are mediocre at best and placing any higher threshold on watching them will actually DECREASE viewers, not increase it. I'm not going to pay extra to watch a show with commercials (which you probably can't skip).

    Apple's solution for $1.99 adds the benefit of watching it where you want and without commercials. It's great for the occasional missed episode that I can catch up with while traveling.

    I've never used OnDemand TV (whether Cable or Satellite) and this won't be any different.
    • 3. NBC still believes there "aren't enough protections" to put their content on the internet.

      These guys don't realize that their shows are mediocre at best and placing any higher threshold on watching them will actually DECREASE viewers, not increase it. I'm not going to pay extra to watch a show with commercials (which you probably can't skip).


      More importantly they don't realize that their shows are already on the internet (without commercials) and seem likely to stay there. The only way to compete with t
    • They get it that people are suckers and will pay twice for the same product (once to the manufacturers in higher costs to pay for the ads which pay the cost of the broadcast, then once to the broadcasters directly for the on-demand).

      They get it that they can scam, bilk and price-gouge legally, so long as it is in small amounts at a time.

      They get it that they're going to be able to milk the compliant viewer for all they're worth (and then some), boosting profits and keeping the shareholders happy, while keep

  • by xnot (824277) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:18PM (#13979894)
    I pay for cable, which technically pays for all the shows that are broadcast during the month when I have access. And then if I miss a show, they want me to pay again to see it? Like people are actually going to pay twice to see a show, rather then buying a PVR or hacking up a free one themselves?

    Honestly, I have no idea how the cable industry can explain how this business model will work now that PVRs are becoming popular.

    It doesn't even make sense. People know they don't own the shows they watch, unlike they do with the music they download. If the cable industry wants to copy the music industry, then they would have to let people pay for shows al la carte, and give them access to that same episode as many times as they want. But then the industry wouldn't be able to charge for those huge DVD episode packs, nor if people recorded movies would people ever need to buy DVDs in general. That's not going to happen.

    But then again, the point may be to simply capitalize on the millions of people out there who forget to do things. HUGE amounts of money are made from people who forget to cancel subscriptions, who return rented movies late, or who don't know anything about how simple it is to same money by using a free program on their computers. I guess if they really think this is going to work, then there must be a LOT of people who don't own PVRs and who forget to watch shows, that they would be willing to pay 99c to be able to see.
    • But then again, the point may be to simply capitalize on the millions of people out there who forget to do things.

      Actually, I have a PVR and very frequently folks will be talking "around the water cooler" about some show they saw last night that was really good - of course I hadn't recorded it because I didn't know about it until it was too late. I don't know how often this happens, but that would be ONE USE for this thing.
    • Honestly, I have no idea how the cable industry can explain how this business model will work now that PVRs are becoming popular.


      Get broadcast flag legislation passed, then disallow PVRs to record unless you fork over $1.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:19PM (#13979899)
    How quickly the other fall in-line with Apple's ABC tie-in. Suddenly electronic content distribution is the next big thing. Now all we wait for is to see each content provider to provide content from all sources beyond these exclusive deals -- which shouldn't take long considering that there's money to be made.

    The water has turned out to be warm after all.

  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:20PM (#13979915)
    You can watch excellent content even through the Winamp media library, using a simple mix of efficient audio and video codecs for streaming. Alo, an interesting mailing list post [digital-copyright.ca] in this respect (companies being slow to deliver real time video)
  • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:22PM (#13979940) Homepage
    Steve Jobs already said a long time ago that he doesn't believe that people like to "rent" music... thus Apple's lack of entry into the subscription tunes market. How is this offering from NBC and CBS different from the iTunes Video Store?

    1. It requires DirectTV, and only DirectTV... so Comcast/Dish customers can go Cheney themselves. In comparison, iTunes video requires only a computer, and works on the new iPod.
    2. Further than requiring DirecTV, it requires their DVR... wtf? If I have a DVR, why wouldn't I just record the damn thing anyway? Why would I pay $.99... to have commercials removed?
    3. It does not appear as if they are making their entire past season backlog available (I assume it would conflict with DVD sales?)... that's what might really make sense... assuming I had DirecTV and the DVR and I didn't already record/watch the show in the past...

    Honestly, this looks ready to fail. Why don't these guys ever get it?

  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:22PM (#13979941)
    While this is a step in the right direction, I think they still miss the big picture.
    "My" DVR box is very convenient. I time shift shows and then erase them.
    But when it comes to movies, I'm one of those people that likes to own the movies I very much like, just like books or music. I like to have it close at hand for reference, entertainment, whatever.

    Now I realize that they're not selling movies yet, but maybe at some point they will.
    The question is, why would I pay for a show twice, if I'm not gonna own it?
    I pay for it with my cable subscription, and then again to rent it. That's not a very good value proposition (if I understand the buzzword correctly).

    With iTunes I at least, get to keep my shows and some day hopefully movies.

    They're not thinking "How can we increase our value to the consumer" but rather "How can we extract even more money out of them?" (Notice that these shows are not downloadable over the net, they go directly to your DVR.)

    And that brings me to the second point. I like storing stuff on my PC. I've got all of my data there, my music, pr0n, whatever. I don't want to keep track of different devices for my collections...
  • by sane? (179855) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:26PM (#13979969)
    So the BBC is doing this for free http://www.bbc.co.uk/imp/ [bbc.co.uk] and these companies think there is a market to charge? How many adverts are they going to send with the actual content?

    Its about time to face facts, people in general do not consider content to have the value that the companies would like to claim. I would suggest that a rough acceptable tariff for downloadable content would look like:

    Music tracks (timeshift): free
    Music tracks (to own): 70-99c (depending on quality)
    TV shows (timeshift): free
    TV shows (to own): 99c-$1.50 (depending on quality)
    CD (10 or greater songs): $10
    DVD (with extras): $12
    DVD (movie, simultanous theatre release):$15
    Movie ticket : $5-7
    In addition I would suggest that people expect a licence to the content to mean they have a right to that content in any form with no extra licence costs. DRM might exist, but it can never interfere with the customer enjoying their property.

    I'll guess that there are rewards for the first company to realise where the market is going and act accordingly. People expect that the quality will not be there, and are unwilling to pay up on spec. Its a mass product market, not a premium product market.

  • Like an ocean-going supertanker, slowly, slowly, slowly it comes about on a new heading.

    the shows will only be available over Comcast on Demand, not for download.

    OK, that's the first 3 degrees of the turn. You've grasped the basic concept of me being the customer and you selling me what I want (as opposed to me being the product and you selling me to the advertisers). Now you need to get the rest - I want it the way I want it, not the way that gives you a 6 million dollar kicback and a 1 million dollar bonu
    • Re:Coming About (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ivan256 (17499) * on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:54PM (#13980217)
      Oh how wrong you are.

      They're turning alright... Just in the other direction. This is the first step towards requiring payment for timeshifting. Want to record that show to your DVR or VCR? You have to pay. This is the beginning of the networks trying to get people back in their seats watching only one show in any particular prime time slot so their current ratings and advertisment rate paridigm will continue to work. You're *not* the customer, you're the product, and your eyes are being sold to the advertizers.
  • I like the fact that they are trying things -- learning -- seeing what "sticks". Who knows, they may stumble across some use-model that nobody had thought of. Of course there are those who think this is just part of an elaborate evil plan to get all of our money, but I don't give them that much credit.
  • by Morgalyn (605015) <slashmorg@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @01:41PM (#13980098) Journal
    Seriously, this is just a marketing move by these networks. In no way is this service different than what subscribers could already do with the equipment necessary to participate in the new service, except now they have the option of paying for it. I really hope people don't take too much advantage of this, so that the iTunes version of business can shine more brightly. Then again, there are a lot of idiots paying ridiculous prices for digital cable these days, what's a few more $0.99's tacked on top?

    I think its entirely possible either these deals were in the works before the iTVS went public, so they just seem late, or else they are bids by these networks to have firmer footing in negotiations with Steve Jobs to offer their content through iTunes. Although why they would go with a lower pricepoint, I have no idea. I guess this scheme would have made more sense if they'd gone for a larger price. The article I read did not indicate how DRM'ed to death the episodes would be (as far as expiration and portability) but that might be a factor for negotiations. They may be opting for a 'but we already have an on-demand contract that works just fine for us' approach in order to get a larger percentage cut of the profit.
  • Lock-in to a specific service (Comcast On-Demand) or lock-in to a specific codec (Fairplay/ACC/iTunes)?

    Given that it's doubtful Comcast will license their on-demand software to other cable companies, or that Apple will license their DRM scheme to other companies, there's going to be an element of lock-in here somewhere. Which would you prefer?

  • Because this is an obvious effort to squash it without ditching the old-model's use of commercials and need to purchase a DVD for archiving an episode for watching later.
  • Buying Milk w/ expiration date is a fact of life.
    Buying Digital Content w/ embedded expiration date is plain stupid.
    They tried with disposable DVD's.

    A fool and his/her digital content are soon controlled and ultimately, parted.
  • Eastern country offers cheap HDTV download without DRM. Offer not available in the U.S. (HAH HAH!)
  • I don't want to be paying rentals to cable or broadcast companies. I like a program, I don't want just 1-4 shows, I want the entire damn season. I don't want the whole season 2 years from now either, I want it shortly after it airs for $30-$50. The only shows that I own everything to are Robotech and B5. I don't want Friends or Fraiser. I wouldn't mind "The Outer Limits" or "Politergist the Legacy" . There were a few other shows that only showed at 11:00 pm or 1 am around here. I'd like to be able to buy al
  • The television infrastructure in the US could be SO MUCH better than it is if it weren't for the rampant money grab these idiots are making on a daily basis. Instead of serving the customer they are serving the shareholders. It didn't used to be this way. It used to be a two way street where the networks actually made programs that people wanted to watch and in exchange people saw commercials for products they might actually be interested. Here we are 60-some years later and we are deluged with MORE adv
  • No Commercials! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mabu (178417) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:35PM (#13981212)
    I can see charging for the show IF there are no commercials. If they want to make people pay for the shows and make money off advertising and product placement, forget that. I have pretty much given up on DVDs now because I can't stand the 15 minutes of ads prior to the disc menu. The same thing for movie theatres. You can't have it both ways and consumers are rebelling against obnoxious, never-ending advertising practices.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

Working...