TiVo “GameSkip” Spotlights Super Bowl Commercials

Dave Zatz —  February 2, 2018 — 11 Comments

While we often ignore or outright bypass commercial interruption, TiVo recognizes the Super Bowl is different and has flipped the script by inverting its ad-skipping technology:

Everyone knows that this Sunday’s commercials are some of the best, highest quality commercials of the year. So, we’re going to tag the game backwards, with the commercials and the halftime show marked as if it were the program, and the game marked as if it was the commercial. As usual, the SKIP function will not show up until after the game has finished. But, once the green SKIP icon shows up next to your recording of the game, you can watch the recording and use the SKIP or D button to jump to the commercial segments quickly. […] This “GameSkip” functionality should work for all TiVo boxes that have SKIP enabled today.

So this is a pretty cool “experiment” (that’s sure to confuse many who didn’t get the inversion memo), but not without technical challenges given potential inaccuracy in closed captioning and other meta data, along with potential trip-ups due to regional advertising spots. Fortunately, all the best Super Bowl commercials ultimately wind up on YouTube (often saddled with additional advertising, yay). What time is the Super Bowl?

11 responses to TiVo “GameSkip” Spotlights Super Bowl Commercials

  1. This is kind of awesome. Let’s me brag even more about “still” having a TiVo!

  2. Either I didn’t know or didn’t remember, but some of my Twitter friends said both ReplayTV and SageTV did similar years ago. Cool stuff.

  3. This is neat, but I was hoping for this to be on a different button, and let SKIP skip commercials for replay watching (well, assuming the Patriots win, anyway — otherwise, it will likely be deleted within moments of the end of the game).

  4. Funny. Great for the 95% who aren’t interested in Pats vs Eagles. Always suspected Tivo owners are not primarily hard core sports viewers.

    Too bad Tivo can’t solve the problem of pushing through changes in viewers’ schedules, say for example when the NFL fiddles with their game lineup days before to take advantage of rising viewer interest in “a great match-up.” Yes, I know there are may be a hundred thousand weekly schedules – difficult, but perhaps not impossible?

  5. Dan, I don’t know why you would think Tivo owners would not be hard core sports viewers. DVRs are the best way to view sports because you can finish a game much faster and not have to listen to all the commentary. The main problem is the Tivo DVR doesn’t allow you to adjust the FF period of time, so it doesn’t work great for football (you have to FF then REW). But it works great for baseball during pitching changes and even Curling between stones. You typically just need to start watching about an hour after a game/match starts, depending on the sport.

  6. Unless a team is in hurry-up mode, I find pressing the 30 second skip as soon as the whistle blows after a play works perfectly to get you to the next play just before it snaps, due to the fact that teams generally take the 40 second clock down below 10 seconds before they snap the ball. On hurry-up, it doesn’t work as well, since teams are moving much faster, and using the 30 second skip often requires a tap of the replay button to see the play. Still, 30 second skip works most of the time when re-watching a game (or watching behind live TV).

  7. To Dan’s implication — Having no affiliation or allegiance to either team (and no other Sunday night plans), I have no need to DVR a game of this magnitude and intend to watch live. However, the GameSkip feature makes it worth DVRing to review the ads we may have missed or want to watch again.

  8. I used the game skip feature to watch commercials that I couldn’t pay attention to during the game due to the stress (and ultimately, sadness) throughout. I watched it today, and was quick on the trigger so I wouldn’t have to relive any of the actual game. It worked until the last half of the 4th quarter, at which point I guess they stopped marking the breaks, and it worked well throughout.

  9. Bricketh, I’m guessing you extended the game recording, and that the part that didn’t work was really part of one of the next scheduled shows (the post-game and/or This is Us).

  10. I would have to go back and check (but probably won’t turn it back on to do so). That may be right, but I don’t think the part of the game that this happened in was before 10PM EST, which is when the game was slotted to end before my buffer was added. That may well be the case, though.

  11. Sorry, I meant “I don’t think the part of the game that this happened in was AFTER 10PM EST”.

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