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Television Media The Almighty Buck

Disney Says, You WILL Watch the Ads 456

smooth wombat writes "ABC and ESPN, both owned by Disney, have struck a deal with cable operator Cox Communications to offer hit shows and football games on demand, but with the condition that Cox disable the fast-forward feature that allows viewers to skip ads. This is the first agreement of its kind. It only applies to Cox's video-on-demand service and will not affect viewers using DVRs to fast-forward through ads. The companies will also test technology that will place ads in shows based on ZIP Codes and geographic area, and 'freshen' the ads with new ones every few days."
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Disney Says, You WILL Watch the Ads

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  • Well, then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:02PM (#19039721)
    Even more reason to build a MythTV box..
    • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:21PM (#19040063) Homepage
      "The agreement could also provide broadcast networks a way to give viewers an alternative to the convenience offered by digital video recorders , without allowing them to avoid the ads, according to the report"

      Sorry what is being "given" to viewers here?
      -An alternative to convenience (i.e. annoyance)
      -"without allowing them to avoid" (i.e. "while forcing them...")

      Maybe I'm old-school, but usually giving things to one's customers is, um, phrased positively like e.g.
      "giving viewers quality programming *without wresting control of their devices from them
      • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:54PM (#19040651) Homepage
        They have 2 types of customer, one of them being their advertisers. They are in the business of selling their other customers to these customers.

        Perhaps the future is this: as consumers all gain the ability to circumvent ads and the value of advertising on cable declines, that the charges for cable service increase by at least double, since cable providers wouldn't be able to get any money from advertisers. (Ideally, this would be accompanied by a decrease in the cost of other goods, but I suspect that advertisers would simply keep the same marketing budgets and look elsewhere.)

        One wonder what things like ratings would mean in a truly post-advertising world. Why spend millions more on a show just because it gets better ratings, if ad revenues don't exist? Would all cable become like the Discovery channel? Or will pay-per-view become universal?
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      Even more reason to build a MythTV box..

      Even more reason not to watch TV at all.

      I probably haven't watched TV in at least three months.

      • TV? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dazedNconfuzed ( 154242 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:49PM (#19040541)
        8+ months for me. When I moved, I deliberately did not have cable TV hooked up. Broadcast TV is pretty much pointless where I am. No TV? it's wonderful. There's too many other things to do than stare at the tube, and if I _am_ going to watch something it's deliberate, worthwhile, and ad-free: DVDs.

        When I _do_ happen to watch TV (somewhere else), all I can think is how lame it is.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by giorgiofr ( 887762 )
          I concur wholeheartedly and I have to add that I've been TV free for a few years at least by now. Sometimes I can't join a conversation where recent TV-related stuff is being discussed but that kind of conversation is lame anyway, so I don't care. Something unpleasant that has happened, however, is that over time I have lost the ability to tune out TVs in the environment; every time I go somewhere where a big TV is on, I keep gazing over to it and back. It's like I am way more sensitive to moving pictures i
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Deagol ( 323173 )
          How true. My family has been w/o broadcast TV for about 5 years now. It's great. We watch DVDs, but that's it. It's amazing how much free time one actually has when no TV to be a slave to (I'm sure DVR users can vouch for this), and without all the blipverts tweaking my brain, I actually sleep a lot better than the days with TV. It's amazing the anxiety television watching actually creates. It's weird.
    • Re:Well, then (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:37PM (#19040339) Homepage
      Sounds great. so how are you going to get your mythTV box to record cable when they encrypt the firewire connection and nobody has cracked a cablecard tuner to work with it?

      comcast detroit is ready to switch to all digital cable. your fancy QAM A180 tuner card will not get many channels and your high end NTSC tuner card will get nothing.

      thiat is where it is going for CableTV. It SUCKS for Mythtv right now as NTSC is going away and Cable is hell bent on putting unsanctioned PVR's out.

      Your only choice is a Tivo Series 3 with 2 cablecard tuners or wait for the Vista-blessed-edition-MCE with cablecard capability.

      The cablecard makers have vowed that it will NEVER work with linux or regular unblessed MCE pC's.
      • Re:Well, then (Score:5, Insightful)

        by russ1337 ( 938915 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:44PM (#19040449)
        >>>> The cablecard makers have vowed that it will NEVER work with linux or regular unblessed MCE pC's.

        Somewhere in China, a night-shift manager in an electronics factory that supplies PCI cablecard adapters to the USA, just thought of a new business opportunity.
      • by pestie ( 141370 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:06PM (#19045211) Homepage
        I know how I'll work around it - I won't watch cable. Seriously. Fuck that shit. There's nothing so compelling on cable that I feel any need to keep it. I've posted before about how I have a MythTV project in the works and when it's done I'm going to drop my DirecTV service and just stick to over-the-air HDTV. And I haven't done it yet, since real life keeps getting in the way, and right now there's just no pressing need. But as more and more things like this keep happening, I have more and more reason to escape from the deadly clutches of pay TV. For now I can make do with getting the few shows on cable I care about via Bittorrent, but if they somehow close all those holes and goes away, I'll either get a Netflix subscription and get entire seasons of shows at once, or I'll just watch less TV! I've been without a TV before and, really, it's not nearly as traumatic as people make it out to be.
  • Well then (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edizzles ( 1029108 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:03PM (#19039731) Journal
    At least i stil have my mute button and a laptop with wirless to distract me
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mandelbr0t ( 1015855 )
      I haven't watched conventional television in over a year. All fed by RSS now: Thank you EZTV [eztvefnet.org] for the advertising killing service :)
  • Sounds good to me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:03PM (#19039733)
    I just won't be signing up for this idiotic service. As the other poster said, MythTV for me.
  • Customer says (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:04PM (#19039765)
    I will not watch a Disney owned channel. Easy as that.

    Content is neither bread nor air. I don't need it to survive.
    • Re:Customer says (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CowTipperGore ( 1081903 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:14PM (#19039953)
      Unfortunately, most customers say "Are you ready for some football?!"

      The average American ranks cable (or satellite) TV and cell phone service up there with food and water. It will be a lonely boycott.

      • I'm not so convinced that it's really that bad. At least I still hope it ain't.

        Granted, over here we have a few people, too, who just couldn't imagine a life without a cell (how fast things change, 15 years ago nobody had one and behold, we did live and not worse than we do now).

        Also, people here are notorious for complaining and trying to weasel out of paying for stuff. I trust in the miserliness of my people! :)
        • Re:Customer says (Score:4, Insightful)

          by contrapunctus ( 907549 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:18PM (#19041051)
          about your cell phone comment (I just want to show an opposing viewpoint):

          how fast things change, 15 years ago nobody had one and behold, we did live and not worse than we do now
          My car broke down and I was without a cell phone 10 years ago. I'd say that was "worse than what we do now". Now I carry a cell phone with me especially in a car (and before anyone goes there, I don't talk and drive).
    • by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:16PM (#19039989) Homepage
      "Content" is a metaphor intended to make people think of creative works as products to be wrapped up and shipped around like any other commodity, when in fact creative works are natural expressions of our humanity and civilization.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by value_added ( 719364 )
        "Content" is a metaphor intended to make people think of creative works as products to be wrapped up and shipped around like any other commodity, when in fact creative works are natural expressions of our humanity and civilization.

        Well said.

        The problem is they've already won the battle and set the terms of the discussion. The other metaphor is that of the "consumer". If we're all consumers, we don't have natural expressions of anything. You wouldn't suggest that we're "individuals", would you?
    • Re:Customer says (Score:5, Informative)

      by decipher_saint ( 72686 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:22PM (#19040105)
      IF Wikipedia is correct they own;

      Disney-ABC Television Group

      * U.S. Television Networks:
      o ABC, Inc
      + ABC Television Network
      # ABC Daytime
      # ABC Entertainment
      * Greengrass Productions
      * Victor Television Productions
      # ABC Kids
      # ABC News
      # ABC Owned & Operated Stations
      * WLS Chicago - Channel 7
      * WJRT Flint - Channel 12
      * KFSN Fresno - Channel 30
      * KTRK Houston - Channel 13
      * KABC Los Angeles - Channel 7
      * WABC New York - Channel 7
      * WPVI Philadelphia - Channel 6
      * WTVD Raleigh-Durham - Channel 11
      * KGO San Francisco - Channel 7
      * WTVG Toledo - Channel 13
      + ABC Radio (ABC Radio & ABC Radio Networks have been acquired by Citadel Broadcasting, the sale has not yet been completed)
      o Disney ABC Cable Networks
      + Disney Channel
      # Playhouse Disney
      + Toon Disney
      + Jetix
      + ABC Family - formerly Fox Family & The Family Channel
      # BVS Entertainment - formerly Saban Entertainment
      # Jetix Latin America
      # Jetix Europe (Disney 74%, public shareholders 26%)
      # SIP Animation (undisclosed minority stake)
      + SOAPnet
      * U.S. Cable Network Equity Holdings:
      o Lifetime Entertainment Services (joint venture between Disney (50%) and Hearst Corporation (50%))
      + Lifetime Television
      + Lifetime Movie Network
      + Lifetime Real Women
      o A

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:05PM (#19039769) Homepage Journal
    The only reason they haven't put these restrictions on the DVRs yet is that they have to compete with TiVo. Once the competition is gone and they've gotten the market sealed up again you can expect these sort of restrictions to start appearing on their own DVRs. MythTV boxes don't count either. It seems to me that the cable companies only embraced DVRs in an attempt to kill them off, I imagine if they manage to drive TiVo out of business then they'll go back to their old tricks.
    • Of course, there's Freevo [sourceforge.net] or MythTV [mythtv.org].
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:19PM (#19040033)

      The only reason they haven't put these restrictions on the DVRs yet is that they have to compete with TiVo.

      If you had not noticed, Tivo signed a deal with Comcast to help develop and supply Tivo branded devices as Comcast DVRs, instantly making Comcast their biggest customer. Tivo is a partner to the big Cable companies now, not a competitor (which might be why we're seeing this stuff happening now). The writing was on the wall long before the deal was done as Tivo repeatedly refused to implement features that benefited their customers, but were opposed to the interests of the cable companies (skip ahead without an easter egg, commercial skip, export to DVD/VCD at a reasonable price, export to laptop in mpeg format, etc., etc.)

      It seems to me that the cable companies only embraced DVRs in an attempt to kill them off, I imagine if they manage to drive TiVo out of business then they'll go back to their old tricks.

      The way cable companies make money is by getting you to watch as many commercials as possible. This means getting you to spend more time watching ads and more time watching reruns with ads. The consumer buying a DVR wants to watch as few commercials and reruns as possible. These two goals are directly in conflict, which is why no one in their right mind should expect a good experience buying from a DVR manufacturer that is also their cable company or partnered with their cable company. They will give you the minimum features needed to keep you from going elsewhere, rather than the best feature set. The cable companies were smart to pay of Tivo, while they were still the only big player in the space. It redirects all the momentum in the space to ground, and gives them time to buy legislation to make sure only cable co. approved DVRs will work with "new improved" TV services. This space is ready for a revolution and a couple of new players, if only they can get by the cable company's monopoly leverage where they provide DVRs at under cost, while overcharging everyone for service to subsidize it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PMuse ( 320639 )
      It seems to me that the cable companies only embraced DVRs in an attempt to kill them off, . . .

      Silly Jedi!

      Why would the Sith kill the DVR if they can turn it to the dark side. The DVR is strong in content delivery. Together, they could rule the galaxy.
  • huh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:05PM (#19039777) Homepage Journal
    One of the things that I really like about the on-demand stuff I get from brighthouse is that there are no commercials at all - other than sometimes before the program begins. Like Anime on demand will often have a short commercial, then the show with no commercials. It's nice too when my kids want to watch Avatar or something because they get to see the whole episode but takes less time.
    • I have Comcast and mostly use on demand to watch reruns of Venture Brothers.

      This past weekend a girl (I'm serious now...stick with me) wanted to watch some movie or another off the thing so we put it own. I was astounded to find an unskippable commercial....for the movie we were about to watch.

      I'm not initiate in all the many angles marketers have devised to get into my brain but I can't figure that one out. I'm about to watch the movie and if it doesn't indoctrinate me into whatever cultural franchis

    • Re:huh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:47PM (#19041675)
      And you're getting one more advantage - since your kids watch a continuous 22 or 45 minute show, instead of seeing it broken up into blocks possibly as small as 8 minutes long by commercials, they cultivate a longer attention span. Quite possibly, they will do better in school and even adult life because of their home environment. Sadly, proving any of this is unlikely, as any realistic, controlled experiment would involve something like a test group watching 3 minutes of programming followed by twenty 15 second long commercials, for lots of hours on end. Any parent that would let their kid be in this test group would be unfit enough to serve as an alternate explanation for all the kid's problems.
  • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:06PM (#19039799) Homepage Journal
    Every rewind backwards by 10 minutes so you could compare what you just watched with what happened earlier? If they disable fast-forward, you'll have to watch those 10 minutes over again.

    I wonder if it will be possible to reinstate the fast-forward button by running the on-demand movie through a DVR.

    • by XaXXon ( 202882 )
      No, no. You'll be able to fast forward through the content. Just not the commercials :)

      So it's ok. Remember that. It's ok.
  • Good... (Score:2, Funny)

    by 7Prime ( 871679 )
    As a TV commercial producer, this makes me very happy ;)
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:13PM (#19039937)
      As a commercial producer, your goal is to get the attention of people and get them to remember your product. Because, well, that's what your customers pay for.

      So far, commercials aren't even seen as a nuisance by many. They are an often welcome interruption for various personal needs, from bathroom to fridge. When you overdo it, people get annoyed.

      And don't underestimate the negative effect of force. If you outright force people to watch an ad, they will connect no good feelings with it. So far, what makes people accept ads is that they enjoy the program around them and that they're in a generally good mood when they watch an ad. When they now pick up the remote and can't FF, they're pissed. And if this isn't carefully watched, the general mood when it comes to ads will be a very negative one. Not only on the "conscious" level, where people complain about ads, but also on the subconscious level.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rainman_bc ( 735332 )
      As a TV commercial producer, this makes me very happy ;)

      And what's next? Prevent people from changing channels while a commercial is on? Colluding with other networks to ensure all commercials are run at the same time?

      Really, you can ram it down our throats, and we can backlash.

      Cover my TV with ads, I'll switch to an on-demand service like Apple-TV instead of cable.

      TV can push, but we consumers can push back too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mattintosh ( 758112 )
        TV can push, but we, the product, can just walk away. And when the product walks away, you have nothing to sell. Don't push or I'll take my (eye)ball(s) and go away.
  • Ludicrous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by u-bend ( 1095729 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:06PM (#19039805) Homepage Journal
    Utterly stupid. You pay for cable. You pay for DVR service. You pay for in-demand. Then you get penalized for being a consumer and you can't use your DVR on paid-for content. Kinda pisses me off, even though I never order any ala carte content.
  • Pay Per Ad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TGTilde ( 874930 ) <<todd.wilkinson0> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:06PM (#19039807)
    So I'm paying for a TV show using on-demand and then am forced to watch ads also? Or is the on-demand service otherwise free. It sounds like a scam to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ctrl-Z ( 28806 )
      Yes, that was covered in the article:

      The deal could make it easier for the major networks to make their most popular shows available on demand free, according to the report.
      • I think "could" is the operative word here. We all know though that it won't, otherwise cable itself would already be free (i.e. before DVRs/TiVos started allowing Ad removal).
    • I have brighthouse - so this may be different, but I have a slew of on-demand choices that are 'free' as in I don't pay anything beyond my normal monthly bill. It is a bunch of stuff cnn, tnt, tbs, cartoon network, and some themed channels - kids, movies, etc. Then there are also what you are thinking of - like on-demand movies where I pay 4 bucks to have access to a movie all day.
      I'm guessing they are talking about 'free' on-demand.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      So I'm paying for a TV show using on-demand and then am forced to watch ads also? Or is the on-demand service otherwise free. It sounds like a lucrative new revenue stream to me.
      Fixed that for you.
    • by hrieke ( 126185 )
      Well, think of it like this:
      While you are paying Cox to play you the show / event at a time of your choosing, the media company is losing money in that you are not seeing the ads shown at the original time- the money goes right to Cox's bank account.

      Now, if Cox said, we're going to offer two levels- level 1 will cost $1 (made up price) and will be ad sponsored (where the money is split one way), and level 2 will cost $5, but will not have ads (of which some larger percentage will go to the media company), I
  • This is obvious and should surprise no one. Of course companies who make money from advertising want to make sure those advertisements are being seen. And, Cox stands (uh huh huh) to make much more money from this agreement than they may lose from customers who may go to dish or a third-party DVR.

    The big killer will be in a few years when cable providers have everyone on digital cable and include DRM in the cable boxes that prevent you from using third-party DVRs. Just as they don't want you putting a V

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The big killer will be in a few years when cable providers have everyone on digital cable

      My hope is that we can have some legislation in place that in the event a cable company decides to stop offering their analogue service, that they are forced to send the signal unencrypted, so that all that is necessary to watch the digital tv is a digital tuner. For most this still means a set-top box, but it will also open the door for "Digital Cable Ready" TV's. HD becomes the new digital with the encrypted feed.

  • Earth to Disney... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tuoqui ( 1091447 )
    ...Its called an OFF button and I know how to use it.
  • Stuff like this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:08PM (#19039827) Journal
    Stuff like this makes me not feel so bad that China has a government owned Disneylan.. err Shijingshan Amusement Park. http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=1678 [japanprobe.com]
  • They can go ahead and blow all the money they want to force me to view advertisements. Even if they somehow completely prevent me from stripping them out, I'll still just continue to mute them and look elsewhere as I do for broadcast TV anyways. Their message won't reach me regardless.
  • On the rare occasion that I actually watch TV, I change channels or get up and go do something else when a commercial comes on. Commercials are one of the primary reasons I stopped watching TV. If I want to see ads, I'll watch them on my own time.
    • I change channels or get up and go do something else when a commercial comes on.

      DING! DING! DING! As I have said in many previous posts, this is exactly what I do now. I'll get off my fat ass (figuratively speaking) and put the dishes away or wash dirty dishes, play with my cat, put clothes away, etc. Anything for those two minutes commercials are on.

      I even wrote a short piece [earthlink.net] on how bad things have gotten.

      I'm just about ready to drop Comcast due to:

      A) rising prices but no additional cha

  • You know... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by VE3OGG ( 1034632 ) <{VE3OGG} {at} {rac.ca}> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:09PM (#19039849)
    TV, like magazines, newspapers, and radio are financed through ads and sponsors. While I realize that it is convenient and preferable to not have to watch all those damned "Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, do dah dah do dah dah" ads, sometimes back to back, in between sections of your favourite show, that is what finances your show.

    Besides, I have a feeling that with the popularity of DVD sets being what it is, cable TV will likely start to dwindle and the box sets will be released at the beginning of each season. This way people can choose what shows they absolutely want to watch with no commercials, and which ones aren't really that important.

    Kinda free-market at work there.

    Then again, I haven't watched TV in several years so I don't know, maybe I missed something vital here...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by operagost ( 62405 )
      Then again, I haven't watched TV in several years [theonion.com] so I don't know, maybe I missed something vital here...
    • Shows wouldn't need so much financing if they didn't pay the few star actors hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode. You look at a show like Seinfeld or that one with that annoying long island guy, and it's basically 98% of the budget for 3 or 4 actors/producers, and 2% for the rest of the cast, crew, production, sets, distribution, licenses, etc.

      And frankly, I wouldn't mind advertising if they followed a few rules

      1. I'm not 3 years old, I can do basic arithmetic and think for myself. Stop trying t
    • Re:You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:41PM (#19040393)
      TV, like magazines, newspapers, and radio are financed through ads and sponsors.


      Let me be more clear...

      TV (over the airwaves) is financed through ads and sponsors. What about Cable TV, which I pay for? Why do I have to watch ads on those channels? And moreover, this article is about on-demand pay-per-view... why have ads in that? It isn't about financing it, it is about making more money. Unless they are going to lower the price because now the ads will assist in financing it. I think not.

      If magazines are financed through ads (which is clear from their HUGE percentage of the magazine content) then why do I have to buy them?

      Newspapers - same as magazines.

      Radio - OK, here is the one area where you don't pay for it, so you endure the advertisements (or just change the station).

  • This is why projects like MythTV [mythtv.org] are so critical. Eventually this will be expanded to "All cable operators must disable the fast forward when playing back videos of our stations on their DVRs". Sure, some cable operators might hold out, but there will be a user revolt when JimBob can't get his left-turning action on ESPN, and they will accept this limitation. MythTV can't be bullied as easily, and will gain in popularity.
  • skip VOD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by not_anne ( 203907 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:10PM (#19039865)
    VOD is just a rehash of shows are already on the channels anyway. Just DVR the show that's on VOD and skip the ads.
  • Eye Staples (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cytlid ( 95255 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:10PM (#19039873)
    Wonder what other sort of medieval torture devices they can think of to force us to watch ads?
  • I will just go back to the old fashioned ad-skip method:

    First break, make a sandwich. Second break, get a drink and/or take a leak. Third break, take a dump.
  • ... symptoms?

    Most of the time don't bother flipping the channel or muting during ads - I don't want to miss the few seconds of my show that come on right after the ads. I know a lot of people who are the same way. However, and the same time, there are advertisements that are so annoying, I just have to switch the channel.

    Maybe they should consider the problem, not the ads, but the companies that make the horrible ads - and rather than preventing people from switching (coutner productive for all parties), an
  • I will not watch them. I hardly go to the movies anymore... i'm PAYING for cable, ads were not in the contract i signed.
  • I'm all for the need of content providers who provide content over the airwaves to put commercials in and try to make sure they don't get devaluated (i.e. skipped). They HAVE to do this because without it, they have no income, and stop existing.

    I can extend this easily enough to cable companies, sat TV providers and such for channels that aren't premium channels for much the same reason. The cost of producing the content is higher than the small fraction of subscription costs they get back.

    But premium con
  • Not going to work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:38PM (#19040351) Homepage

    The harder they try to control viewing habits, the harder people will work to thwart whatever system is put in place.

    Sometimes when I'm watching something on TIVO I'll forget I can zip through the commercials. I'm more prone to forget and watch the commercials if there are fewer of them and they're interesting. The really obnoxious ones will spur me to either mute the TV if it's live, FF on TIVO and go to great lengths to find an alternative if some company like Disney tries to make me watch. Not happening.

    I love the way advertisers treat viewing like a one-way street. You watch what we give you. Well, screw you, Disney. The local ads are the worst. There are several that get me diving for the mute button. Where if they were more informative and less obnoxious, it might make reaching for the remote more of an effort and I might not bother.

    But broadcasters thinking they can squeeze 20 minutes of commercials into 60 minutes of broadcast and advertisers thinking we'll calmly sit through whatever annoying crap they throw up there...yes, I'm looking at you, Oxyclean guy...they can kiss my butt.

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:15PM (#19041013) Homepage

      Sometimes when I'm watching something on TIVO I'll forget I can zip through the commercials. I'm more prone to forget and watch the commercials if there are fewer of them and they're interesting.

      Well that's the funny thing, too. Since getting my DVR from my cable company, I've noticed that there are times when I actually stop fast forwarding, rewound, and watched an ad. Do you know why? Either the ad got my attention with something that was going on, or it was an ad for a product I might actually want.

      I think that bears repeating: "an ad for a product I might actually want." For the good of our cultural/socialogical sanity, the various groups in the advertising industry should be trying to find ways to deliver ads people are willing to watch without a fight, shielding consumers from ads that will only annoy the crap out of people. That was the whole idea of ads on television, after all-- to make the ads worth watching. Ads today are so fricken annoying, though, that it's usually not worth watching them anymore.

      And I'm not suggesting that the advertising industry damage themselves by showing restraint out of purely altruistic motivations. On the contrary, if they don't scale back and find ways to avoid annoying the crap out of people, we might just keep getting more inventive at blocking all ads all the time.

      Take the web as an example: A lot of people have become so annoyed with horrible pop-ups, pop-unders, complicated flash junk, etc., and the result is that we've developed extensions and plug-ins that block pretty much all advertising everywhere. If advertisers showed a little more restraint, ad-blocking might not be so common.

  • by youthoftoday ( 975074 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:47PM (#19040501) Homepage Journal
    What I don't understand is, time after time, people think they HAVE to consume media.

    Just go outside! Enjoy the fresh air once in a while. I watch no TV (though there's one downstairs). Disney is probably doing people a favour.
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:48PM (#19040523)
    http://thepiratebay.org/tv [thepiratebay.org]

    the more unpleasant they make it, the more people will go to the p2p sites instead... what you want to watch, basically when you want to watch it... and none of the crappy adverts or stupid digital restrictions on how you can watch it...

  • Between crap like this and the crap they subject you to in the name of "entertainment", I'm so glad I gave up on TV years ago.

    Disney, and any other oppressive media company out there, can blow me if they think they are getting a single dime outta me.
  • by drgroove ( 631550 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:55PM (#19040675)
    For the sake of underwriting "free" television, I'm OK with broadcasters putting ads that can't be skipped, but that are refreshed occasionally in shows that I record. Additionally, if a show has non-removable advertisements, that removes the ability for a broadcaster to prevent me from re-distributing the show on P2P networks or video sharing sites. The show's original broadcaster and advertiser information is now bundled with the show, so no material harm occurs to those parties if I redistribute the material - in fact, they benefit from the additional exposure.

    For shows that I purchase, however, I want them ad-free. If I purchase a show, that means I am subsidizing it (at least, a very very small portion of it), and don't want to deal with ads as a bonus to purchasing it. I would also be willing to waive my right to re-distribute the material, but not willing to waive my right to create copies of the material for my own backup & archival purposes.

    I think that's a fair arrangement. In fact, I'd be willing to have my representative sign legislation to this effect.
  • by cjmnews ( 672731 ) <cjmnews@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:58PM (#19040729) Homepage
    10. Take a nap
    9. Fix a snack
    8. Let the dog out
    7. Check your email
    6. Get a drink
    5. Go to the bathroom
    4. Stare into space
    3. Read an article
    2. Smooch
    1. Mute the sound

  • by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:06PM (#19040867) Homepage
    I understand why they want us to watch the ads; because if I'm not reminded every 15 minutes that Ditech has low mortgage rates and my erectile problems can be solved by using Cialis, I may start forgetting. And God knows we cannot allow people to forget that Ditech has low mortage rates and erectile problems can be solved using Cialis. Because if they ever need to refinance--something that apparently people do every weekend, by the rate of Ditech ads--they'll know they can refinance with Ditech. And God knows everyone on the planet has erectile problems that can be solved with Cialis, so if they should have erectile problems they can solve them by using Cialis.

    Isn't the whole point of ads to sell me what I want? There is a ton of stuff out there I'd love to have if I knew about it--and refinancing through Ditech or having a hard penis using Cialis aren't it!

    This message brought to you by the Mortgage Experts at Ditech and by the Erectile Dysfunction experts who make Cialis.
  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @06:19AM (#19049615)
    Playing on my iPod while reading this thread: "Professional pirate" (from the movie 'Muppet Treasure Island', produced by... Disney Pictures).

    Some say that pirates steal and should be feared and hated
    I say we're victims of bad press it's all exaggerated

    and also
    We'd never stab you in the back, we'd never lie or cheat
    We're just about the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"