Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

CBS, NBC to Offer TV Shows for 99 Cents

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the stepping-towards-on-demand dept.

Television 303

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.

cancel ×

303 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

iPOD comparison (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979721)

What's the cost difference between what Apple will charge for theirs and this?

Re:iPOD comparison (3, Insightful)

Dav3K (618318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979761)

you can watch your ipod show over and over. The Comcast deal is $0.99 per play.

Re:iPOD comparison (5, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979847)

With the Comcast deal, you buy an episode for $0.99 and you can watch it as much as you want until the next episode airs, at which point it becomes inaccessible. This is the same VOD model they use for most of their programs: build in an expiration date, much like a video rental.

Re:iPOD comparison (0, Flamebait)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980062)

I'm glad my MythTV box is working predictably now. I could get some .99c episodes, record them, then have the best of both worlds.

  Too bad there's not a damn thing on The Big Three I'd pay money to watch. Also if you're paying for it, you should get it uncut with no commercials. I haven't read anything on that yet.

Re:iPOD comparison (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979811)

There is no cost difference to the consumer. Just you don't get to keep the show when you are done I think. For 99 cents you get to watch the show for only 24 hour time period, or at least that is how my friend says the movies in the on demand work with comcast. Apple, you get to keep the show to watch it as many times as you want, and have the ability to take it with you.

Re:iPOD comparison (4, Informative)

Dav3K (618318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979825)

I misread your question. The cost difference is $1.00. Comcast is offering their product (with commercials) for $0.99 while Apple is offering their product (without commercials) for $1.99. Again, the Apple download can be viewed multiple times, whereas Comcast is essentially rebroadcasting for your viewing pleasure at a time more convenient for you. You are paying for the service of the rebroadcasting, not a downloadable product.

TiVO Anyone (4, Insightful)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980043)

Why pay to watch it once when you can just TiVO it and be done? Maybe this is what the broadcast flag thing is all about. All TV will become pay-per-view.

DUH!

2 cents,

Queen B

when? (0)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979723)

when download for iPod or TiVo? heck, I can pay 0.99.

For the cost of fifty shows (4, Insightful)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979731)

For the cost of fifty shows you can just get a Tivo.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (5, Insightful)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (1, Insightful)

BlurredWeasel (723480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979766)

You can cancel your cable and save that cost of a tivo every month.

Quitting broadcast TV (1)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979848)

Yeah, I'm considering quitting broadcast TV in favor of (low cost) rentals of the few good shows. Netflix combined with DVD timeshifting so you don't have to worry about getting it back in the mail immediately is a nice combo. No Daily Show/Colbert Report, but I can live with that. Sports are best watched in bars anyway.

Re:Quitting broadcast TV (4, Funny)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980056)

The Daily Show/Colbert Report is the big stumbling block for me.

*dramatically shakes fist* Damn you Jon Stewart!

Re:Quitting broadcast TV (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980091)

They have a few seasons of the Daily Show at Netflix... Colbert Report is too new i think.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980089)

You can cancel your cable and save that cost of a tivo every month.
Or Live in a cardboard box under a bridge!

There are always ways to cut money from your budget, but do we need to hear about it for every article? Just because you dont watch TV, doesnt mean our wanting to watch TV is less important.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979873)

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.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (1)

christian.elliott (892060) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979926)

If Tivo cuts to much into the profits, Tivo will find itself at the bottom of a river with cement shoes, or at least get severely nerfed. There is an abundance of money to be made of this. I wouldn't expect any easy way out to be along for very long.

I just wonder how long it will be until VCRs are stripped of their recording feature.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (2, Funny)

borawjm (747876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979948)

But if you miss the show, the tivo is pointless.

Re:For the cost of fifty shows (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980076)

That's the point, you won't miss the show if you've told your Tivo to grab it ;) It's called a 'Season Pass', and it will pick the show up even if it is moved to a new time.

You need to have one already. (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Let's acutally read the article before submitting. (4, Informative)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979734)

NBC's offering will be through DirecTV. CBS will be through Comcast.

Re:Let's acutally read the article before submitti (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979810)

Which means, to make ourselves clear, neither of these are IP downloads.

Re:Let's acutally read the article before submitti (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979927)

Also, the CBS shows via Comcast will have comercials, while the NBC shows via DirecTV will be commercial-free.

OK, I admit it, I am bitter that CmdrTaco pre-empted my submission to take it for himself, so I am pointing out his summary shortcomings!

TiVo (1, Interesting)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979741)

Buy a tivo, mod it, and download the shows to your computer and burn. Voila. No .99c each and you get to watch it in a DVD player.

OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979784)

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.

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979972)

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.

That's not entirely true. Or at least it wasn't about 2 or 3 years ago.

My ex girlfriend's cable compapy used to only have one-way cable. For cable Internet access, the coax only served to download. All requests had to go through a phone line. So they had to use the phone to use cable, a real bummer.

At the time they said it would be about another year until they had 2-way, so by now it's probably correct. But considering she didn't exactly live in the sticks it was quite odd. Heck, I was 1 town over and we were fine. Then again we were home to some neat places.

As for now, I have no idea. Back then a service guy told them it might be another year before they get 2-way communication but I don't know if that was a brushoff or the truth.

Weird

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979788)

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

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (1)

spinfire (148920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979959)

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]

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979845)

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 their cable box would stop working for no obvious cause.

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (2, Informative)

Palos (527071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979856)

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.

Re:OnDemand doesn't work with DSL (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979962)

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.

Internet TV is next (4, Insightful)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979749)

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.

Re:Internet TV is next (3, Insightful)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980018)

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.

Now watch what they do in DC (3, Insightful)

bherman (531936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979755)

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.

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979905)

Who wants to play Name That Logical Fallacy? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (2, Insightful)

bryce1012 (822567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979960)

What does "logic" have to do with this?

We're talking about the MPAA and their ilk. I'm not entirely sure they've ever heard of this "logic" of which you speak.

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979967)

From the wikipedia article:

Use of the slippery slope can be valid or fallacious.

In this case I think it's all too likely that it's valid. After all, "they" have a history of doing things like this..

/Mikael

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (1)

halenger (806072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980025)

Maybe this is different in the U.S. but over here in Ireland (and the UK) recording of TV is illegal. It's just not a law that is enforced. It's the same story for recording from the radio. Recording for personal use is considered acceptable. I can see your point though but you've got to remember that they already have your money if you're recording it from your own TV (or at least they should do!). They're more bothered about people distributing them. Maybe when we get to the stage where we can record at the same quality as DVDs (I realize that's almost possible for some places but we have 1 useless High-Def channel in Europe so I'm talking in that context) then they'll worry about DVD sales and worry about people recording things. That said, before DVDs we had videos and videos you bought were only ever so slightly better than the ones you could record yourself - assuming you had a decent enough TV connection. I'm sure we'll see in the next few years...

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (1)

bherman (531936) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980090)

I'm going to reply to my own message
I'm pretty sure this will be used to argue why the "broadcast flag" that is working it's way back through congress should be passed. They will say that since they will be selling the episodes, consumers don't need to record them on a DVR and such.

Re:Now watch what they do in DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980127)

Now I see why there's such a rush to get the Broadcast Flag, and to permanently shut down analog TV!

Rip Off!! (3, Interesting)

NerdBuster (831349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979758)

So I have to pay for cable and/or satellite, then I have to pay more for a show that just aired?!?! Plus I don't get a copy of it?!?! I'm sticking with my SageTV PVR and a 250GB drive. I can record any show I want and keep it forever at no additional cost! I hope this fails miserably.

gasmonso http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Rip Off!! (1)

brufleth (534234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979883)

Don't forget that Comcast is leaving the commercials in. This would almost make sense if they took the commercials out but if they're leaving them in it should be free since I'm already paying to watch it anyway with my bloated cable bill.

Why should I pay for this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Re:Why should I pay for this? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980036)

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 kind of lame. If Comcast didn't offer their DVR service I'd be alright with them upping my monthly fee by $1-$2 to give me unlimited access to network shows On-Demand. But having to pay money up front for each TV show puts me off, especially when $5 per month lets me record as many network shows on HI-DEF as I want.

Then again, my Comcast DVR is a p.o.s. that crashes every few days and has major software flaws.

Re:Why should I pay for this? (1)

mbbac (568880) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980042)

Because you're already paying specifically for HBO and Showtime, but not for NBC or CBS.

Re:Why should I pay for this? (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980128)

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...

A La Carte (0, Troll)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979771)

When I can get zero "always on" channels for $0/month and get any show On-Demand for $1 I'll be ecstatic.

$1-$5 for movies, too!

Re:A La Carte (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979881)

When I can get zero "always on" channels for $0/month and get any show On-Demand for $1 I'll be ecstatic.

Talk to your local cable company. It was a trick in my region to ask for ultra-basic service that was called "life-line" IIRC which was a dumbed down version of basic cable... channels 2-13 with everything else filtered out. According to rumor users could ask for a cable box for the express purpose of ordering on demand shows without a fee.... which had the side effect of unfiltering everything else. Note I don't know of anyone who had to do this... just a few odd balls that ordered "lifeline" from old TCI cause it was cheaper then the extra fee for cable modem service without cable. My memory was vague... but I'm remembering $5ish bucks/month vs $7ish bucks a month.

Re:A La Carte (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979942)

That's basically what I have now, but we're paying around $15/month for it. It works fine (we get the entire 1-99 channels with a few minor ones missing) for now but it could be better. We also get all the HD channels, which is why I could really go for the On-Demand for everything deal.

I will look into what you said though, thanks!

Re:A La Carte (1)

th3space (531154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980094)

After I got fed up with the costs of Comcast's Digital cable service not being quite on par with the quality of programming that was being offered, I decided to get rid of the television service and just go with Netflix. For whatever reason, having no television service at all was going to bump up the cost of my cable modem through them, so I just added the 'basic' package for $10/mo and bought an a-channel/b-channel switch that allowed me to unlock most of the channels I had lost.

Doing this saves me another $7-12/mo and if I ever get a hankering to watch something that isn't a part of their 'basic' package, I flip the switch and I've got whatever I wanted to see. AFAIK, this doesn't work in all of their markets around here, though.

Re:A La Carte (1)

liquid stereo (602956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980022)

Exactly! This will be a colossal failure because it relies on the subscribers. Part of the iTunes Music Store's appeal is its wide and easy access. You don't need anyone or anything! Who wants to deal with Tivo, DirectTV, Comcast, etc? That's just more bs...

Re:A La Carte (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980083)

Bingo. The difference between iTunes and cable though is that most iTunes users already have the bandwidth, paid for originally with your stolen tax dollars for decades, and now paid for you monthly. Let's take away your DSL or cable and try to sell you iTunes for $39.99 / month (includes free Internet!) and $0.99 per song. This changes things greatly.

I'm not asking the cable company for free hardlines to my trailer. I'm asking for them to offer it free once they've recouped the expenses of rolling it out (if ever). I'd rather receive the On-Demand over IP if possible, but I don't see it happening any time soon. I honestly hate BitTorrent and Limewire (too slow, too long to find anything, too low quality in general). What P2P are people using for movies and TV shows?

The only time I see myself paying for this.... (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979775)

If I missed a new episode of Battlestar Galatica and my DVR was broken and I had no broadband access

Re:The only time I see myself paying for this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13979855)

If I missed a new episode of Battlestar Galatica and my DVR was broken and I had no broadband access

Thank you for sharing. Perhaps you'd like to tell us why you're not interested in more products and/or services?

... but this does not allow the user to keep, no? (5, Interesting)

compactable (714182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979786)

... $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 ...

Re:... but this does not allow the user to keep, n (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979981)

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 take that CD and its contents and use it in the car commercial your company has filming. You have also not gotten a license to make copies of the music and sell it on.

Your "renting vs owning" view is doubtlessly some shorthand for two generic types of licenses. However, while that was probably more or less sufficient in 1987, it's clearly not a good shorthand now, where new devices and different licensing schemes require far more subtlety and understanding to define.

Re:... but this does not allow the user to keep, n (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980044)

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 crap I don't want.

Re:... but this does not allow the user to keep, n (1)

spxero (782496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980049)

Way to hit the nail on the freakin' head!

Why should I pay to RENT something as easily copied as content?
If only these guys would realize that people want to own something and to watch/hear it whenever they choose!

Why is TiVo so popular? Because I can watch TV whenever I want.
Why are iPods so popular? Because I can listen to music whenever I want.

If we just wanted to rent music and movies all the time, there would be no need for TiVo or iPods.

Re:... but this does not allow the user to keep, n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13980059)

iTunes provides ownership

You wish. What you own you can give away.

Re:... but this does not allow the user to keep, n (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980104)

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?

can you record the shows using Direc TV PVR? (3, Interesting)

warnerpr (9286) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:can you record the shows using Direc TV PVR? (1)

n9uxu8 (729360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979976)

Comcast does not allow recording of OnDemand programs on their dvr.

Re:can you record the shows using Direc TV PVR? (2, Insightful)

Sammy76 (45826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980026)

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.

absolutely pointless? (1)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979804)

This to me seems absolutely pointless, especially since its only available through comcast ondemand. For $10 a month you can get a dvr from comcast and record all the shows you want, and even record in high definition.

Re:absolutely pointless? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979893)

That doesn't work if the show you want to watch aired yesterday, and the DVR wasn't programmed to record it.

Bittorrent? (1)

Spades_ (175131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979808)

You can usually find HD quality shows using bittorrent with commercials stripped out. I think this is a good idea for those who don't, 99c is pretty cheap and effort free if you missed your fav show and didnt have it recorded. Definitely a market there I think.

Run it till the tires fall off... (4, Insightful)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Run it till the tires fall off... (0, Troll)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979879)

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.

Which is why DirecTV is planning on a cut-over to MPEG4 in the next couple of years.

Re:Run it till the tires fall off... (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979913)

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.

why? (1)

mayhemt (915489) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979820)

WHy would someone want a TV show replayed..when they can comfortably tape it? that too if u already got comcast ccable?
there could have been potential if thats for any broadband user.. (for me..i have DSL but no TV)
or like for someone who went overseas & dont want to miss his/her soaps back home
just my 2 cents to add to the 99 cents...

The Discussion with a Real User (5, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979832)

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? (2, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Thanks, but no thanks. (1, Insightful)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979849)

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.

Re:Thanks, but no thanks. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979871)

Actually, both of these offerings are commercial-free in exchange for your 99 cents.

Now more then ever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13979850)

CBS is teaming up with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and NBC with satellite operator DirecTV to offer the on-demand replays.

...it's imperative that people (DirecTV's Secret War On Hackers [slashdot.org] , DirecTV hacking is dead? [pvrblog.com] ) get those DirecTV hacks working full-swing again.

lame (0)

jessecurry (820286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979864)

But the shows will only be available over Comcast on Demand, not for download. That's lame :(

Re:lame (2)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979934)

But the shows will only be available over Comcast on Demand, not for download. That's lame :(

Don't worry, it won't last. Don't expect any network to restrict themselve to only a single distribution channel of paying customers. Soon enough everything will be available everywhere.

99 cents WITH commercials (5, Insightful)

mmeister (862972) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:99 cents WITH commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13979971)

Nice try.

Do you think that people care where the internet is going? People only care about one thing! They only care about service with a smile. Wait until downloadable content has emoticons and then maybe I will purhcase one of these "Apple Imac Portable Digital Music Devices" (my own term) or "Ipod" (the stupid, common term).

Thanks for trying though. YOU LOSE!

Re:99 cents WITH commercials (0, Redundant)

borawjm (747876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980068)

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 [..]I'm not going to pay extra to watch a show with commercials (which you probably can't skip).

Well, it wouldn't make sense for the company to offer a tv program for free without commercials. I would just miss all of my favorite shows on purpose to watch the free commercial-free version.

These guys don't realize that their shows are mediocre at best and placing any higher threshold on watching them will actually DECREASE viewers

I just don't see this. The people that watch their programs on time, when they are aired, won't be affected. But the people who miss their programs get the added benefit of watching them some other time, for a fee. In a way it promotes people to watch their programs when they are scheduled/aired yet they don't have to feel left out, or wait for a re-run, when they miss an episode. Fanatics no longer have to cancel all of their evening plans just to catch their favorite show's episode.

Let me get this straight (3, Insightful)

xnot (824277) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980064)

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.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

FlashBIOS (665492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980119)

I pay for cable, which technically pays for all the shows that are broadcast during the month when I have access.

Actually, you are paying for the medium over which the shows are distributed (cable in this case). You are not, in reality, paying for the shows. It is a minor, but important difference.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980132)

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.

How quickly the big ones fall (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Read the Article Please (1)

brufleth (534234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980113)

This is a very different deal than the iTunes/ABC deal. First this has nothing to do with a new distribution method. Its making use of On Demand systems already in place. Its just a way of squeezing people for more money if they don't know how to program a VCR. The iTunes/ABC deal offers people access to content given an internet connection while these deals require you have cable and On Demand already. The Comcast/CBS shows will even still have commercials.

I'd like to pay for the show I want and nothing else. If the shows could all be commercial free that'd be even better. I don't watch much TV though so maybe it would be more expensive for some people. I feel like the iTunes/ABC deal was a step towards pay-per-content but these deals aren't really doing anything new.

These boys are a bit slow (2, Informative)

bigberk (547360) | more than 8 years ago | (#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)

Does not compare with iTMS Video... requires a DVR (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979940)

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?

still miss the big picture (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#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...

You like to change your long distance provider? (1)

Plocmstart (718110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13979952)

Doesn't really sounds like anything new, except for a new pricing scheme. Time Warner already does this with some shows and their on-demand setup. So there's a new pricing scheme to get "all" shows, at least for one network. Then to get the shows for another network you need to sign up for Comcast, then for another network you need to sign up for DirecTV. So now you're subscribing to 2-3 cable services to watch all your shows which you still can only watch using that service's receiver. Hmmmmm I think I'll stick with my Tivo for instant gratification and torrenting network tv shows when my Tivo is busy doing something else.

Damn this newfangled technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13979965)

Back in the good ol' days you could just put one of 'em splitters on your cable, and plug it into the TV and the VCR


Now I gotta watch me TV through this huge box thing, and I can't even have two different channels on two devices. And the cable company has like twenty thousand services that I can pay additional fees for! Damn it all!


Least I can get them Internets with that devil cable...

Not realistic in this marketplace. (4, Interesting)

sane? (179855) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not realistic in this marketplace. (1)

FlashBIOS (665492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980075)

The BBC is not doing it for free. UK TV viewers have to already pay a monthy fee for the content per each TV they own. This is on contrast to the US where we pay for the medium over which it is delivered (cable, sat., etc.) but the content (in general) is free.

Coming About (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980009)

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 bonus for the stuffed shirt that came up with the idea.

This doesn't add up... (1)

BoraSport (702369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980016)

Yes I have tasted the Kool-Aid from Mr. Jobs... That said I really don't understand this model from a consumers perspective.

  • I pay $0.99 for the privilege of watching a show without commercials.
  • I can only have this privilege if I pay a $10 monthly charge (Comcast) for a DVR rental.

I don't own it. I can't take it with me to a friend's house and watch it with them (without lugging over my DVR). I also can't archive it when my drive is full and I want to download another show. I also cannot use this service if I don't have a DVR to store the programs...

With iTunes I pay $2.00 and I own the show. It is on my iPod, my Computer (PC or Mac), I can share it with others. If I decide that I don't want to download any programs next month, no fees. I can archive my programs to keep them safe. For that extra dollar I get an actual asset.

Even Napster understands that if they aren't going to let you own the media, they have to let you get all you want. That is why Comcast's onDemand service is a high value add. I feel as a cable subscriber I'm getting my money's worth because of the additional media library available at no charge in onDemand. As an HBO subscriber my value is even higher because I get premium movies included as part of my subscription.

Yes, there are still Pay-Per-View style moves in my Comcast service but those save me a trip to the video store, and they are not freely available on other channels in my subscription service.

As a consumer, what do I get from this new service other then another item to avoid in my on-screen menus?

Why? (1)

BodhiCat (925309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980017)

I don't have cable at my apartment and get only PBS over the air. I only have time to watch a few hours an evening and PBS usually has something interesting on. If I am busy, then I tape show from PBS and watch them later. Once in a while I rent a DVD or video tape from the public library. The rest of my free time is spent reading or with friends. Why would I pay $.99 to download something that has no interest for me in the first place. Why would I want to spend money to watch some idiots voluntarily stuck on a desert island eating a lizard?

Just another business model (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980080)

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.

I just got done ripping into this on my blog (2, Insightful)

Morgalyn (605015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980098)

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.

Big Blow to DirectTV (1)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13980123)

This is a HUGE blow to satellite tv providers. At this point they just can't offer anything like this. Eventually this could take a big bit in Ad Revenue for prime time shows, but out of the gate, it's a pretty big win for the broadcast networks.

Very savvy move by Comcast too, Verizon and SBC have already announced their plans to do this with services like FIOS. Comcast at that point didn't have any plans to do it, but they certainly can move much faster and are first to market. Kudos to the execs at comcast.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>