Commercial Free DVR – How can it Survive?



I watch a few less commercials on television these days. I just fast forward through them. In the old days commercials were when you went to get snacks or put the clothes in the dryer. I’m hard pressed to think of a television commercial that I have seen in the last 6 months that I was glad I watched. Maybe I just missed all the good ones, for all the things I really wanted… that would be my luck.

DVR’s have made it easy to just fast forward through those irritating blurbs about junk you don’t need, and they can condense your half hour shows into a quick 20 minutes, and now, The Dish Network is offering a brand new auto-skip feature on it’s DVR’s that actually lets viewers press a single button to eliminate all the major network commercials altogether, no fast forwarding required. Could this be the future of TV?

How will the TV networks stand for this? Another company, Replay TV offered a similar service and was promptly sued for offering a commercial skipping feature. The company has since filed for bankruptcy. As much as I LOVE the idea of skipping annoying commercials, it seems like services like these attack the very underpinnings that make TV a profitable business, after all, why else would TV networks be making all those intelligent and provocative programs for us?

I don’t know the future of Dish Network’s Hopper Feature, but television commercial viewership has to be way down already with the number of digital recording devices in most homes these days, does the fact that you can eliminate commercials altogether somehow make it worse than the fast forwarding that we’re already doing? I guess lawsuits will be inevitable. Could network television be in danger? I guess the real question is, how do you think they are going to make us pay?

3 reviews or comments

Beth Says: July 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

It’s inevitable, hopper or not. The work around is that companies will start advertising their product in the programming rather than in between it.

Sam Says: July 3, 2012 at 2:53 am

The fight between the ads and the consumers is like virus and AV programs. The fight continues and at some point, there would be ads within the programs itself like the new bond film where Mr Bond would be asking for a Heineken as they are sponsoring the film. It’s time to stop being a couch potato and spend time in the real world.

Tim Says: July 3, 2012 at 6:48 am

ReplayTV was sued, not because they were doing anything illegal, but because they were small and could be bullied. Dish Network is large and capable of withstanding the legal challenge, and also very likely to prevail and get an award for their attorney’s fees.

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