Sledgehammer to Heel, ABC Tries To Hobble Tivo

One of the best things about Tivo is the ad-skipping feature. ABC now wants to kill that and is holding meetings with DVR manufacturers to add a ‘feature’ to eliminate it all together. A feature to eliminate a feature? How zen.

When major corporations suddenly find that their business model is slaloming down the technological curve into obsolescence, they almost always do one thing: bully, strong-arm, lobby and sue anyone they can get their hands on to artificially preserve themselves. You saw it with the RIAA; you saw it with the MPAA. And now network television is getting in on the act, because Tivos kill ad revenue.

It’s a tough pickle for the networks, alright. They require people to view ads to pay for their shows, but technology means people don’t have to watch them anymore. We’re a little unclear how DVRs are any different than VCRs in their capability to skip ads, but whatever: one thing’s for sure, we can probably expect a lot of obnoxious moves to try to trick us into watching ads before the battle’s inevitably lost by ABC.

Oh, hey! Here’s the first one!

ABC wants to kill DVR ad-skipping [Ad Jab]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Scott says:

    Instances of product placement will continue to increase. You can’t avoid a commercial if it’s built into the program.

  2. Elvisisdead says:

    You mean like how DirecTV hobbled the shit out of my TiVo? I hate them for that, but it’s still not enough to get me to go back to cable.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Chris writes:

    “Exactly. Product placement is annoying, but since we got TiVo, that’s the only way we see any commercials. (“Let me check the Motorola” “Gotta look on” — yeah — I watch “Treasure Hunters”…) My wife writes commercials and even she can’t stand to watch them. There will be too big of a backlash if something like this happens.”

  4. billhelm says:

    two things about this – most DVRs are subscription based that consumers pay money to use, and I can choose to take my dollars elsewhere if my cable company or Tivo does this. Secondly, if they could get everybody to do this, there’s always the option to turn it off and not watch.

  5. creamsissle says:

    Eh. If Desperate Housewives continues to decline in quality next season as it did the last, there will be no need to watch ABC anyway. (Of course, once other networks follow suit, then we’re screwed.)

    I’ll take product placement any day over traditional commercials.

  6. ModerateSnark says:

    The only solution for advertisers may be to make their ads so entertaining that people end up watching them on YouTube.