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Disney Says, You WILL Watch the Ads

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the step-away-from-the-remote dept.

Television 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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Well, then (5, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039721)

Even more reason to build a MythTV box..

Re:Well, then (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19039797)

Let's see your myth box get you all of the same content "on demand".

Re:Well, then (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039833)

Just plug the cox DVR into the MythTV box. Done.

Re:Well, then (4, Funny)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039853)

You [emule-project.net] can't [bittorrent.com] be [sourceforge.net] serious [giganews.com] .

Re:Well, then (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039861)

Sounds like a good project for a mythtv module, w00t!

hehe: try to parse this sentence from TFA (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040063)

"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

Re:Well, then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040167)

Or for people who want a DVR and not an ongoing project, a SageTV or BeyondTV box.

Re:Well, then (5, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040347)

>>> ..for people who want a DVR and not an ongoing project...

I'd say that traditionally you would have been correct. But I just built my second mythtv for the house (Dual core, Ubuntu 7.04, Mythtv 0.20). It took me less than a day, and most of that was just messing with stuff I didn't need to mess with. Last time, a year ago, it took about a week.

The Ubunut7.04 recognizes the PVR-150 out out the box and has a full mythtv package in the repo's. It was a case of one click. No more IVTV rubbish and just follow the instructions to get your remote control working. All not that hard even for a noob like me.

Haven't seen any TV ads for a couple of weeks now.... Unlike Cox cable users....

Re:Well, then (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040289)

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? (5, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Well, then (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040339)

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 (4, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Well, then (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040497)

You use the video-out from the cable box to let the DVR/PC "watch" TV and record. Most cable boxes can be controlled via serial or usb or firewire. If that ability is removed, there's always the old fashioned way (attach an IR transmitter to the front of the cable box, control it via "remote").

Re:Well, then (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040349)

Even more reason to build a MythTV box..
If you continue to insist on stealing our content, and engaging in piracy, we're left with no choice but to replace your computer with a DRM-enabled appliance. Please, let us know if our customer service department can be of further assistance ;-)

Well then (3, Insightful)

edizzles (1029108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039731)

At least i stil have my mute button and a laptop with wirless to distract me

Re:Well then (2, Informative)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040595)

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 (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039733)

I just won't be signing up for this idiotic service. As the other poster said, MythTV for me.

Re:Sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040255)

Sounds good to me, too.

More pissed off customers = more seeders = faster downloads for everyone!

Customer says (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Customer says (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040231)

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 (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040343)

It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for all the retarded, insulting, annoying, obnoxious commercials.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of commercials (say 75%) that don't make me want to change the channel or mute, but that 25% is just extremely irritating.

Re:Customer says (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040477)

You got it good! The ratio is 90 (annoying) : 10 (entertaining) here.

Tells you something when we have a show called "worlds funniest commercials" and they actually have quite good rates...

Neither is it "content" (4, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039989)

"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:Neither is it "content" (-1, Troll)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040121)

No, it has a lot in common with your "real doll", actually, because just like your wife, it won't exist unless you pay for it, either with the money you make peeling potatoes or the money the network makes by selling ads.

Even the bum on the corner with the banjo wouldn't be there if he didn't have some expectation of someone dropping a few dollars in his hat.

Re:Neither is it "content" (4, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040367)

Sorry, I simply don't agree that "it won't exist unless you pay for it". People do things -- sometimes incredibly impressive things -- for many reasons. To reduce human creativity to an economic transaction is, frankly, insulting to my notion of civilization.

By your logic Emily Dickinson's poems do not exist, since she had no expectation of being paid for them and even wanted them destroyed upon her death.

Re:Neither is it "content" (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040405)

Yet us slashdot bums sit here writing comments without expectation of monetary rewards. And a whole lot do it with our bum-provided browsers and longhaired crazy beard written OS.

Apparently your theory is a bit off. Qualify it with 'some people will not write some creative works without getting paid for it'.

Somehow, judging by the quality of mainstream entertainment and commercial software, I'd rather think we'd do fairly well without them.

Re:Customer says (5, Informative)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 7 years ago | (#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&E Television Networks (Disney 37.5%, Hearst Corporation 37.5%, NBC Universal 25%)
                + A&E Network
                + The History Channel
                + The Biography Channel
                + History Channel International
                + Military History Channel
                + Crime & Investigation Network
                + Biography Magazine (published by Hearst Corporation)
    * Production & Syndication Divisions:
          o ABC Television Studio - formerly Touchstone Television
          o Walt Disney Television Animation
          o Buena Vista Television
          o Walt Disney Television
          o Buena Vista Productions
          o Buena Vista International Television
    * International Television Networks & Programming Platforms:
          o Disney Channel Worldwide
                + Disney Channel (25 channels worldwide)
                + Toon Disney (8 channels worldwide)
                + Playhouse Disney (9 channels worldwide)
                + Jetix (channel and branded programming blocks in 80 countries)
                + Disney Cinemagic
                + Hungama
                + ABC1
    * International Business Ventures:
          o Walt Disney International Business Ventures & Business Development
                + Super RTL (joint venture between Disney (50%) and RTL Group (50%))
                + GMTV (Disney 25%, ITV plc 75%)
                + HBO Central Europe (joint venture between Disney, TimeWarner and Sony)
                + UTV Software Communications (Disney 14.9%)
    * Radio:
          o Radio Disney
    * Publishing:
          o Hyperion Books
                + ABC Daytime Press
                + ESPN Books
                + Miramax Books
                + Hyperion East
                + Hypeion Audiobooks
                + VOICE
 
[edit] ESPN, Inc.
 
(Disney 80%, Hearst Corporation 20%)
 
    *
          o ESPN
          o ESPN2
          o ESPN on ABC - formerly ABC Sports
          o ESPN HD
          o ESPN2 HD
          o ESPN Classic
          o ESPNEWS
          o ESPN Deportes
          o ESPNU
          o ESPN Now
          o ESPN Plus
          o ESPN Original Entertainment
          o ESPN Pay-Per-View
          o ESPN Regional Television
          o ESPN International (see for complete list of channels)
                + North American Sports Network
                + ESPN Star Sports (joint venture between Disney (50%) and News Corporation (50%))
                + TSN (30%)
          o ESPN Radio
          o Mobile ESPN
          o ESPN360
          o ESPN The Magazine (published by Hearst Corporation)
          o ESPN Books (an imprint of Disney's Hyperion Books)
          o ESPN Home Entertainment (currently distributed by Genius Products)
          o ESPN Outdoors
                + BASS
          o ESPN Digital Center
          o Arena Football League (undisclosed minority stake acquired December 2006)
 
[edit] Walt Disney Internet Group
 
Websites & Online Destinations
 
    * Disney Online
    * Disney Auctions
    * ABC.com
    * ABCNews.com
    * ABC News Now
    * ESPN.com
    * ESPNsoccernet
    * Go.com - formerly GO Network
    * Movies.com
    * FamilyFun.com
    * Wondertime.com
    * Disney Family (Family.com)
    * TouchstonePictures.com
    * Miramax.com
    * BVOnlineEntertainment.com
    * Muppets.com
    * Jetix.tv
    * HollywoodRecords.com
    * LyricStreetRecords.com
    * ABCFamily.com
    * Video.com
    * SOAPnet.com
    * Oscar.com
    * Hundreds of other websites relating to Disney properties & businesses, just a few are listed above
 
Mobile Services and Entertainment
 
    * Disney Mobile
    * Disney Mobile Studios
    * Starwave Mobile
    * Living Mobile
    * Minds Eye Productions
    * Enorbus
    * mobile2win China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_ by_Disney#Media_Networks [wikipedia.org]

Re:Customer says (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040543)

No!! Not SOAPNET!!!

Re:Customer says (3, Funny)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040565)

I will refuse to watch Lifetime now!

DVRs are saved by Tivo (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039769)

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.

Re:DVRs are saved by Tivo (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039979)

Of course, there's Freevo [sourceforge.net] or MythTV [mythtv.org] .

Re:DVRs are saved by Tivo (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:DVRs are saved by Tivo (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040401)

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.

If Tivo disappeared tomorrow you'd see MythTV become more stable with a quickness as a lot of nerds addicted to TV on their terms jumped on the Myth project. You'd also see a ton of prebuilt preloaded MythTV appliances appear. And probably several commercial channel listing services.

huh (3, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039777)

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.

Re:huh (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040037)

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 franchise they are trying to create I'm not sure a 2 minute commercial will help.

They may have been doing this all along for movies but the Adult Swim intros remain skippable.

Re:huh (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040327)

I can skip the intros where they have them - to my knowledge. I don't try to do it too often. I use the time between hitting play and when the show actually starts to do other stuff - so I don't really pay attention. But I know most of the kids stuff just kicks right into the show. The cartoon network has Mr. Magoo and my kids love it - so we watch those every so often. But the only place I've really noticed adds is on the channel I watch the most which is the Anime feed. I was happy to find that, though at times it is annoying because there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to which episodes they have up for a series. Or the series themselves for that matter.

I hope they're careful (4, Interesting)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039799)

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.

Re:I hope they're careful (1)

brewstate (1018558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039845)

Yes. It will be possible to play it through your dvr first but it will be in real time so a 1h show will take an hour for your dvr to capture it.

Re:I hope they're careful (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040035)

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... (1, Funny)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039801)

As a TV commercial producer, this makes me very happy ;)

Not necessarily good (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Good... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19039945)

Crappy sig (defined): yours.

Re:Good... (2, Interesting)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040019)

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:Good... (2, Insightful)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040571)

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 (3, Insightful)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039805)

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 (3, Insightful)

TGTilde (874930) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:Pay Per Ad (2, Informative)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039971)

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.

Re:Pay Per Ad (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040243)

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).

Re:Pay Per Ad (1)

Skreech (131543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039991)

I guess the general public is not paying enough for their service to be ad-free. I would like to know, for once, how much money each cable subscriber would have to pay for their TV service if it paid for all the advertisement that would normally be there?

Re:Pay Per Ad (2, Interesting)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040193)

I guess the general public is not paying enough for their service to be ad-free. I would like to know, for once, how much money each cable subscriber would have to pay for their TV service if it paid for all the advertisement that would normally be there?
I had free television for years with fewer advertisements than what you see today. Cable television gets monthly subscriptions from all viewers (with rates that seem to double every five years), more advertising money than over-the-air ever dreamed of, and kick-backs from all the home shopping channels that they won't let you remove because it subsidizes the cost of your television service.

I can promise you that any number claimed to be adequate to eliminate advertising would be a die roll with a bunch of zeros on the end. And, it would be so large that most wouldn't consider it. Yet, the same folks will accept their annual cable bill increases while getting more ads per hour.

Re:Pay Per Ad (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040013)

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:Pay Per Ad (2, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040021)

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.

Re:Pay Per Ad (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040103)

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'm sure that people would find this more palatable and the market would be the decider as to which method is preferred.

(Of course this totally ignores the greed of the media company- I'm sure they'll figure out someway of stuffing in commercials somehow; be it product placements or sponsorship.)

And of course this is far more complex than my 3 minute reply here does justice to the debate.

Next they will eliminate the third-party DVRs (2)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039813)

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 VCR on the output of a DVD player, they will no longer allow anything but TVs on the outputs of their boxes.

Earth to Disney... (2, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039817)

...Its called an OFF button and I know how to use it.

20 minutes into the future... (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039903)

> ...Its called an OFF button and I know how to use it.

Janie Crane: "Edison... an off switch!"
Metrocop: "She'll get years for that. Off switches are illegal!"

- from Max Headroom, Episode 1.6, Blanks [maxheadroom.com]

Re:Earth to Disney... (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040245)

My TV has been off since October of 2005. I don't feel like I'm missing anything either. I have more time to read, play games, interact with people, watch movies, whatever. If folks ask me if I've seen a recent commercial, I can always catch it on YouTube.

My impetus was two-fold. First those DAMNED Old Navy commercials. Second, I was down to only 1 half hour show a week worth watching; I can wait for it to come to DVD.

Cable and OTA TV is gone from my life. It was hard at first, but I've broken the fetters and I think I'm better for it. I would recommend abandoning the TV to anyone. Free yourselves to enjoy other forms of entertainment (some of which contain no ads).

Stuff like this (3, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039827)

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]

Or, not watch at all (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039837)

I won't see the ads if I'm not even watching the show. My wife and I dropped down to basic cable (20 channels, $16/mo) earlier this year, and if they somehow manage to disable the FF button on our Tivo, I'll just stop watching altogether. I keep saying I should read more, anyway.

Whether the ads are there or not (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039843)

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.

Doesn't change a thing (2, Interesting)

tarlos25 (1036572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039847)

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.

Re:Doesn't change a thing (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040179)

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 channels
B) removal of a channel from New York so I can't get my cute asian babe fix every morning and not getting a reduction in my bill or a replacement channel
C) the continual theft of the last ten minutes of every half hour segment of CNN Headline News by having it replaced with their, Comcast's, crappy "news" channel.

Shall I quote Princess Leia and how the tighter one closes their grip the more slip through their hands?

You know... (3, Interesting)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:You know... (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040129)

Then again, I haven't watched TV in several years [theonion.com] so I don't know, maybe I missed something vital here...

Re:You know... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040183)

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 to convince me what a wonderful deal it is.
2. Playing the same ad 300 times per hour will not make me want to buy it
3. Just because you can advertise it doesn't mean people will buy it [re: car ads during hockey games].
4. Fine print is annoying, it makes you look like you have things to hide.

Tom

Re:You know... (1)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040375)

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.
A few star actors couldn't demand outrageous salaries if advertisers weren't willing to pay out the nose for those valued slots. A show like Seinfeld pulls in millions of viewers and Pizza Hut wants those folks to see their pizza ads.

"Ads finance your show" (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040355)

<Lex:> WRONG!

If I'm paying for an on-demand show *I* am financing my show.

I accept that on broadcast television, which is provided to me for free, I have to "pay" with the inconvenience of ads.

I accept that on cable channels, which I pay to access, I still have to put up with ads. I'm not happy about it, but I know that my $50/month doesn't finance 50-odd channels AND the service provider. But, if the ads get too obnoxious, I turn the fucking thing off.

However, if I'm paying premium pricing for an on-demand show, I'll be damned if I'm STILL going to put up with ads.

Re:You know... (4, Insightful)

gosand (234100) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040393)

TV, like magazines, newspapers, and radio are financed through ads and sponsors.


Huh?


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).

Why open source is critical (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039851)

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.

Re:Why open source is critical (1)

Pap22 (1054324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040135)

All you who think MythTV is the answer need to take a class called Econ101. If everybody used MythTV to skip commercials, there would be no revenue generated as a result of those TV shows, and hence no shows at all.

But let me guess the replies. YOUR time is too valuable to be wasted by commercials. You should get the show for free while everybody else has to watch the commercials and support the sponsors.

skip VOD (3, Interesting)

not_anne (203907) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Can't find it on the web yet (0, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039871)

but I just had a glance of the news on a TV, apparently Disney is not going to allow advanced movie screenings in Canada anymore. I guess they figure Canadians don't arest people with camcorders in the theaters or something. It is bizzare though, the US has 10 times the population, isn't it more 'dangerous' to do advanced screenings there?

Eye Staples (4, Funny)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039873)

Wonder what other sort of medieval torture devices they can think of to force us to watch ads?

Only a matter of time (1)

Skreech (131543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039889)

When there's any method to avoid exposure to advertisements, it's only a matter of time until it's overcome. Either by ingenuity or contract terms or otherwise. When DVRs first came on the market I could only imagine advertiser's chagrin at the ability to skip ads. It weakens the value of advertising on TV. But the cable company itself was offering such a feature? I guess it's a battle between revenue from loyal subscribers vs revenue from advertisers.

Disney Says I WILL Watch The Ads (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039915)

I say I WILL grab a beer and take a dump until the ads are over.

c-c-c-oming soon t-t-to channel 23! (1)

j_presper_eckert (617907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039919)

Soon, Disney will be showing those ads at much higher speeds, allowing many more to be shown within a given span of time. Advance word from the Magic Kingdom indicates that these will be called "blipverts"...

Maybe if it were free (1)

mmdog (34909) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039951)

My cable company offers VOD for a monthly fee. My cable company also rents me a DVR which I use for almost all of my TV watching. If they start messing with that I'll go ahead and set up a MythTV box.

Unless there is some truly unique and outstanding content or they add Disney VOD to my package for free, I wouldn't even consider using it.

No I won't (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039969)

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.

Its about time really (1)

brewstate (1018558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19039983)

Yeah you have to watch commercials. You also "have" to watch the commercials on the live feeds as well. At least we are moving to an on-demand system that will allow those of us who don't care to watch ABC at 7:30 pm to see some random show. We can watch it when ever. When this is all said and done it will be similar to this for every network. Eventually Cable and Telephone service providers will be nothing more than ISP's and who ever serves up the media will be the real winner. BTW I agree Disney's channels really don't offer much to me either but it is a start.

maybe they should cure the disease and not the... (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040039)

... 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), analyze which ads are switched off, and figure out who should be fired.

of course, this is more related to the upcoming 'no change channel during ads' thing that they are planning on putting in TVs (or at least were planning), but it is relevant for this case also.

Oh, and while I'm on this rant.
The world is not talking about who will win De Lahoya/Mayweather, unless by talking they mean not giving a damn.

Uhmm. Actually I won't (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040059)

But you can try to make me, I guess. I'll mute it and deal with some minor household chore like chacking my bank balance or something. As will most people.

Am I the only person who sees this as the studios fleecing the advertisers by selling advertising that they know a lot of their viewers aren't watching.

Am I still allowed to go to the bathroom? (1)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040101)

During ads,
or will that violate my Terms of Service?

it's the system that is broken (1)

hashmap (613482) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040155)

TV shouldn't be all that expensive, but it ends up like that so someone needs to pay up Someone needs to pay for the exorbitant salaries sportstars and popular actors make. And that person is the one watching it

If you could subscribe to channels at the actual cost it took to make a show we would pay pennies per month we could all afford it. But if when you need to cover Katie Couric's million dollar salary we're in trouble.

It's the system that is broken...

Expect this to become the standard. (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040163)

As we speak, suits in every single media company are now saying "If Disney does this and we don't, we'll fall behind on ad revenue!"

I expect this new ad-blocking-blocking to spread across the industry and become standard. I wouldn't be that surprised if they even persuaded (read: bribed) Congress to make it illegal to skip ads.

Or would it already be illegal via the DMCA???

You Fa1l I7. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040175)

+a sad world. At I ty4e this.

This is gonna be bad for your health (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040197)

We all know how Americans have like 5 mins program 5 minute ads, and sure you can go make a drink but can you really cope with 6 pints of coffee an hour. Not only will you have a huge bladder, but you will be buzzing off the caffine for weeks! This is all in jest btw!

Won't work in the long run. (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040203)

Technology will continue to advance; the ads WILL be bypassed.

If they want people to keep watching ads, they'll have to integrate them into the show somehow, in such a way that skipping past them also skips past stuff you want to watch.

Actually, this has been done for years already with "product placement" in movies and TV shows. Now they'll have to figure out how to move it to the next level of obnoxiousness.

And (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040279)

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.

Another dead horse getting beaten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040287)

In soviet russia... ads watch you!

There's a line they cross... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040295)

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 content (Video on Demand, HBO, Showtime, PPV) are charging explicitly for the content, having ads at ALL invalidates a portion of that premium they get to change. FORCING ads on people is downright greedy. But I suppose if you own stock in Disney this is the idea...

Why I'm shifting to computer as a source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040341)

This is exactly why I'm moving more and more stuff to being viewed via a computer (Mac). I should be in control and not held hostage to my DVD player, TV, etc.

Not going to work (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040351)

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.

OK, I'm gloating... (1)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040415)

But, every time I see this I'm glad we have the BBC. 45 minutes of uninterrupted Dr Who, Star Trek etc etc. Record, timeshift, playback, all fine, no adverts in the middle of programs, only short ads for other programs inbetween, and none of those ridiculous little banner things than cover up the bottom 1/4 of the screen during a show.

I know that not everyone likes the license fee, but honestly I think it's by far the lesser of two evils.

Want commerical variety (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040429)

I can understand that they want us to watch the ads, it's suppose to generate money for them. I also understand that they need to repeat the ad so that awareness of the brand gets stuck in my head. I don't want to watch the same frackin ad every single commerical break or worse twice in the same commerical break! With that said, I'm seriously looking at getting a series 3 TiVo for my FiOS cable so I can continue to fast forward through ads that don't interest me or have already seen. Honestly I will watch some ads. In fact, I backed a recording earlier today to watch one of those mac/pc ads cause I'm mac fanboy.

First with commercials on a DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040453)

Disney,

Was also the first company to force me to watch commercials prior to viewing a DVD I for which I had already bought and paid.

I distinctly remember the letdown I felt when I stuck in that DVD and couldn't get FF past the commercials. I knew it was over, all of my future DVDs would be polluted with garbage.

Asswipes!

Compulsory Viewing? (5, Insightful)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040501)

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.

Oh well... I'm not exactly spoilt for choice... (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#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...

So glad I gave up on TV years ago (2, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19040547)

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.

Thanks Cox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19040573)

Golly! Thanks Cox! Your local monopoly is just SPIFFY! Can I bend over any further for you?

You keep giving me more and more reasons to just cancel my service.. DVRs that arrive DOA, poor/low signals between the neighborhood amp and my house causing internet disconnects, now this crap....

fsck Cox and horse they sucked off last night!
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