Advertisers Strike Back


ABC and Cox Communications have announced a new VOD service that will let cable subscribers watch primetime network shows any time they want. The catch? No fast forwarding through commercials.

This project seems similar in approach to Time Warner’s network-DVR applications, Start Over and Look Back: It gives consumers more control over access to content, but less control over the ads they’d likely prefer to skip. ABC and Cox actually announced the application last May, but it appears they’ve now run field tests and are ready to launch.

Between new on-demand ad technologies and the un-skippable commercials in content streamed over the Internet, advertisers are fighting back against several years of falling TV revenues. Not that they ever should have been worried. There’s always been alternatives such as product placement and, with the move to digital television, it’s always been clear we’d be hitting the reset button on the TV advertising model.

DVRs gave us a free lunch for a while, but advertisers are finding other ways to make us pick up the tab.

5 thoughts on “Advertisers Strike Back”

  1. I’m not so sure the VOD solution is the one that will be the answer for advertisers. I understand why their trying all these new things, but I wonder how many people will actually use the VOD’s. I’m probably advertisers worst nightmare since with my HTPC, I skip all commercials unless its on a sports program. The real answer for the television networks is to lock down their content, but it sure seems like there are some things coming out soon that will circumvent those lock-downs such as the Hauppauge HD recorded coming out in the next few months.

    I guess for the non-geek they’ll be stuck watching commercials, but there will still be ways go get around it I think.

  2. The best way to get around advertisements is to rent the shows on DVD from Netflix or Blockbuster… been doing that a couple of years for most of my “television” viewing. I may be a few months late, but I can enjoy an entire season in a few weeks with minimal commercial interruption.

  3. My tivo has let me watch any show whenever I want and skip commercials. If they make it un-enjoyable to watch their shows I will just watch something else / browse the internet / play video games.

  4. I’ve been thinking about this and I can live with this on one condition. Will we still be able to pause and rewind the show when there isn’t a commercial?

    I can find something else to do during a commercial but I can’t live without the ability to pause or rewind when someone wants to talk during the show.


  5. I think you can still pause and rewind. And I agree, that’s what makes this palatable. My husband and I watch Hulu shows that way – take off during some of the commercials and then pause when the show starts again so we don’t miss any.

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