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ABC to offer on-demand video but there's a catch

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  • ABC to offer on-demand video but there's a catch

    Looking to strike a blow against the proliferation of digital video recorders, the ABC network, its affiliated broadcast stations, and Cox Communications’ cable systems are establishing an on-demand video service that would allow viewers to watch ABC shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” any time they choose.

    The catch: It uses a new technology that disables the viewers’ ability to fast-forward through commercials...

    Several executives involved in the project, which ABC plans to offer to other cable systems around the country, said the move was an overt attempt to staunch the use of DVRs like TiVo, which viewers often use to avoid commercials. That activity is increasingly seen as threat to broadcast television, which depends on ad revenue to pay for programs.

    “This does counter the DVR,” said Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC television group. “You don’t need TiVo if you have fast-forward-disabled video on demand..."

    Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, which owns three local ABC stations, who is also the chairman of the board of affiliated ABC stations, was even more direct about the goal of the new service.

    “As network and affiliates, we both have an interest in slowing down the explosive growth of DVRs,” Mr. Cole said. “This is about combating DVRs. As we developed this at every stage, there was an agreement that however we put this together, disabling the fast-forward function was key.”
    Burn your TIVOS

  • #2
    “This does counter the DVR,” said Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC television group. “You don’t need TiVo if you have fast-forward-disabled video on demand..."
    i would say this increases my need for TiVo
    Official Lounge Sponsor of Cardinals Stirrups

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    • #3
      could you not use a DVD recorder and then fast foward through them? Or would this mess with everything not just tivo?
      Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by madyaks View Post
        could you not use a DVD recorder and then fast foward through them? Or would this mess with everything not just tivo?
        I think you would have to use their specific hardware to download the video.

        Bet you people will break through this and post it on torrents.

        More stupidity from ABC.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hansolo View Post
          I think you would have to use their specific hardware to download the video.

          Bet you people will break through this and post it on torrents.

          More stupidity from ABC.
          ah sooo
          Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ty Shula View Post
            i would say this increases my need for TiVo
            It sounds like that person has never used a Tivo.
            If you believe in something sacrifice a hobo to it or don't bother.

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            • #7
              It's not really "on-demand" if I can't demand to skip the commercials.

              And ABC is fooling themselves if they believe that people actually sit through commercials rather than go do something else in that 2 minutes of wasted airtime.

              BTW, ad revenue is is based on the ratings during specific months nicknamed "Sweeps" months. They're so full of bullshit their ears are clogged with fecal material.

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              • #8
                It's not really that outrageous a tactic by ABC, is it? You don't have to get their silly little On Demand service if you don't want it.
                Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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                • #9
                  Haven't they been threatening for years to make it so that you couldn't FF through commercials on DVR's?
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                  Tom Brady, Brandon Spikes and the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
                  The 29 Time Beanpot Champion Boston University Terriers
                  Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Curry

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lippa View Post
                    Haven't they been threatening for years to make it so that you couldn't FF through commercials on DVR's?
                    Beyond the riots in the streets you'd see from consumers, that would seem to be a nice fat target for a lawsuit by Tivo and everybody else who markets any kind of DVR or DVR service.
                    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kah View Post
                      It's not really that outrageous a tactic by ABC, is it? You don't have to get their silly little On Demand service if you don't want it.
                      I'm with you. You gotta give something (your time) to get something (on demand).

                      I don't blame ABC for trying it. If it bombs, it bombs.
                      Of course you do.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Iowa_Card View Post
                        And ABC is fooling themselves if they believe that people actually sit through commercials rather than go do something else in that 2 minutes of wasted airtime.
                        If this were true, why have commercials at all?

                        Have all of those companies spending Billions upon billions of dollars on TV commericals been wasting their money all of these years?
                        Of course you do.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ShortHop View Post
                          If this were true, why have commercials at all?

                          Have all of those companies spending Billions upon billions of dollars on TV commericals been wasting their money all of these years?
                          You are exactly right. Effective advertising works.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kconn View Post
                            You are exactly right. Effective advertising works.
                            There's no doubt that a lot of people, including myself, take the opportunity to go to the fridge/bathroom/computer if I need to when there's a commercial that I can't FFWD through is on, but the odds of me watching and absorbing what a commercial is trying to sell me is much higher if I can't FFWD through it.

                            Like I (and kah) implied, if they want to try it, and it works, more power to them. If it doesn't, too bad. It's our choice to utilize the service or not.
                            Of course you do.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ShortHop View Post
                              If this were true, why have commercials at all?

                              Have all of those companies spending Billions upon billions of dollars on TV commericals been wasting their money all of these years?
                              Point is the market is changing. People want features such as commercial-skipping.

                              ABC thinks they can get away with this by restricting where their downloaded content go (I am assuming here as the info is skimpy).

                              I counter that the customers will simply find a way to break the disabled features and leak it on torrents or elsewhere.

                              It would be better if ABC adapt to the changing market rather than bang their head on the wall.

                              Their choice not mine.

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