New Annoying TiVo Ads

Do marketers sit around their house looking for things to put ads on? A reader writes in with a tip about TiVo:

    When I finished watching this weeks episode of Scrubs, I was prompted by a rather annoying TiVo message. “Are you done with this program?” But this was not the regular TiVo deletion prompt. I am usually given two options, “Delete now” or “Keep this recording”, this time I was given a third, “Get your BK Xbox games today!” followed by the Burger King logo.

Um, this is annoying and lame. —MEGHANN MARCO

New Annoying TiVo Ads [My Surmise]


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  1. Nick says:

    I’ve been seeing those for about a month now. They are annoying, but at least the menu still defaults to “delete this program.” I’d be pretty upset if the default selection was the ad.

  2. My local cable company started putting ads at the bottom of the menu. It drives me crazy and I’ve complained on numerous occasions. I’m old enough to remember when pay cable was supposed to be commercial-free (dates me somewhat) and now not only do I have to pay to watch commercials, I have to pay to find out what’s on the channels I pay for to watch commercials. Grrrrr!

    Will there ever be a moment I’m not bombarded with commercials? Christ, I can’t even watch a movie in a theater anymore without commercial after commercial, then previews (commercials exclusively limited to movies).

  3. georget99 says:

    Do marketers sit around their house looking for things to put ads on?

    I thought they hit bottom when an airline “air sickness” bag was also a film processing mailer. (Notice: do not mail if contents other than film)

  4. missdona says:

    It doesn’t bother me.

    I need for TiVo to keep it’s company alive long enough to get my money’s worth out of my “lifetime” service.

  5. Antediluvian says:

    I don’t find these Tivo ads annoying at all. In fact, I barely read them — I know it’s an ad, I know I either want to press up, select to delete or just select to keep. Who cares?
    The ad shows only after a show is over, it’s not obtrusive, and it’s not the default option nor does it require you to navigate in a different way.

    I do object to ad proliferation in general, but I do not find this objectionable.

    If it helps Tivo Inc stay in business and keep offering their service (which yes, I pay to subscribe to), then I don’t mind. So far, Tivo has always done right by their customers when there are ads to be offered. Opt-in in the default, and any ad info is only a miniscule portion of the screen.

    I’m okay with this.

  6. jblake1 says:

    I’m up for just about anything that helps Tivo eventually achieve profitability. Tivo has totally changed the way I watch TV and it’s all been for the better.

  7. Magister says:

    TiVo isn’t just raking in the cash. They are in trouble. I love my TiVO, and since ads like that aren’t really intrusive, I don’t mind seeing them. They added these just in the last month. But for a long time, they have had ads at the bottom of the MAIN menu. So nothing really new here.

  8. HaxRomana says:

    My three “favorite” advertising locations…

    -Ads on the sleeves that you put on coffee cups so you can hold them.
    -Ads stenciled on the lines between parking spaces.
    -Ads plastered on all of the tables at a local burger joint.

    One isn’t so bad, but how long will it be before every little thing you do with your Tivo is followed by a page or two of advertisements and special offers?

  9. mmmmdoughnuts says:

    I have tivo basic for life…i guess i should not complain.

    Besides, it is not as thought they are making you watch an advertisement before you start your recorded show, or something along those lines.

    When that happens (or when they disable the 30 second skip hack) we will have something to yell about.

  10. isadora says:

    I love my TiVo and would probably pay double my current rate to keep them in business. If this keeps my rate the same and the company in business? I’m surprisingly okay with it.

  11. valkin says:

    TiVo rocks and the only reason I’m ok with this bit of advertising is because TiVo is great, they are passionate about their product, and they’ve given me nothing but quality customer service.

    If this were my cable company displaying the ads, I’d be furious.

  12. airshowfan says:

    Magazines, some video games, products at the local restaurant or supermarket, search engines, web-based email, newspapers and news sites, social networking sites, movies, even this very website, are cheaper or free thanks to being ad-supported. I too hate being bombarded by ads everywhere, but if I remember that it makes the stuff I buy/watch cheaper, then it’s not too hard to tolerate.

    Of course, one could reasonably complain about not having a choice to pay more to get no ads, but oh well, I guess there’s unfortunately just not enough of a market for the cable companies (and publishers, etc) to develop such a system. One could also complain about paying more for an ad-free service which then gets ads on it later, but unless the contract specified that it was going to be ad-free for ever, then I guess there’s not much you can do.

    At least many ads nowadays are more targeted, which hopefully means we’ll eventually get fewer ads for things we don’t want.

  13. Michael says:

    So, if you select the ad, does the Tivo keep or delete your recording? ;)

    If Tivo is going to have ads, there’s got to be a better way than sticking them on menus where they don’t belong. Goodness, how long before computer programmers start doing this with our applications? When I click on the File menu of a computer program, I don’t wish to see:

    Save up to 15% on Car Insurance!

  14. Michael G says:

    I am so happy to Still have my Series 1 TIVO

    None of this extra crap

  15. etinterrapax says:

    I noticed it too, and I’ve only had TiVo for a few months, so at worst, I find it mildly annoying. I’m glad it’s not the default option, though, because that would seriously piss me off. I don’t mind pandering, but I object to outright snookering.

  16. People still watch ‘Scrubs’? Seriously?

  17. Considering you have to pay for Tivo, why is it ok for them to use an ad based model? At the very least, there should be a function to disable the ads, anything less is asshattery.

    Particularly, those of you who have paid for lifetime subscriptions. They’ve just degraded your service by placing ads in their menus.

  18. The Unicorn says:

    Comcast has started doing this for its DVR subscribers, only the ads are at the bottom of the page where you can scroll through TV listings. So basically, they’ve taken out one channel’s worth of valuable information & replaced it with some dumbass ad. This, I do not like. At all. But then again, it’s Comcast, so I can’t exactly be disappointed.

  19. Chris Gibson says:

    Meh – if they’re going to post ads (and they are), at least they found an obstrusive place and time to do it, which in no way affects or slows down the basic TiVo operations of selecting and playing content. It doesn’t even crowd out any of the info that was on the “old” delete screen. The folks who are going to scream about any ad, anywhere, anytime are still going to scream, but for the more pragmatic amongst us, this seems like a fine way for TiVo to boost their revenues.

  20. Antediluvian says:

    If all ads in the world were as mild as those on Tivo, we’d be a happier planet.

    And Pee Wee, I adore Scrubs, although the hubby can take it or leave it.

  21. krunk4ever says:

    I don’t

  22. krunk4ever says:

    If these ads are annoying, what type of ads will you NOT find annoying? Many free things that available to you are only free because of advertisement support. Given that there is just 1 extra line when you finish watching your pre-recorded (which you probably skip through all your commercials anyway), I don’t feel that’s too much for you to handle.

  23. Nygdan says:

    I hate to say it, but they’re going to have to get their ads in somewhere. Especially with things like TIVO, you can just skip past all the commercials. This had been enough of a concern for lots of companies out there that TIVO was altered, I beleive. Apparently, it originally came with a button that would advance 30 seconds each time you tapped it, or some other length that was the average length of a commercial. So you could tap a button a few times and not see any commericials. Now they got rid of that, and you have a regular fast forward button.

    Apparently thats not even enough, and they want to get the commercials in other ways too.

    Probably won’t be long before you are required to watch commericials before the start of a recording.

  24. zentec says:

    I yet again yanked the phone line on my DirecTV Tivo because there is no way I’m allowing a software update for more ads. I have them on the main screen, and the Tivo takes up space recoring “previews” which are nothing more than commercial vinettes.

    I work in television and Tivo, along with the internet, is radically changing the broadcast world. Much of it for the better of the consumer. But at some point, you just have to say ENOUGH with the ads. While it’s nice to be able to blast through the ads, what Tivo does for me is kill this antiquated appointment television approach. If I want to watch Mythbusters at 11:00 p.m., then I can (although it’s probably on at that time anyway since Discovery has it on nearly every freaking day).

    I pay a monthly service for the DVR. They continually figure out places to shove advertising and it is starting to degrade the experience. At some point, the consumer is going to move to platforms where they have more control.

  25. pestie says:

    Are you sure that pulling the phone line is going to help in the case of DirecTivo? I’m pretty sure they send the software updates via satellite, and the phone line is just for the PPV functionality.

    I have DirecTivo, and if I start getting ads, that’ll be the day I cancel my service. Actually, it’ll be a few more days while I finish my MythTV setup, but I will cancel.