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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Broadcasting and Cable Magazine 5/6


Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., argued that if personal video recorders like TiVo Inc.'s and SONICblue Inc.'s ReplayTV are going to allow viewers to zap commercials, consumers should pay for the privilege -- as much as $250 per year.


At a dinner with AOL Time Warner executives and the media Sunday in New Orleans -- gathered there for the National Show -- Kellner said he worries that PVRs that will eventually be installed in set-top boxes threaten to destroy commercial TV, which, he argued, is already a fragile business.


He cited a new analyst report that said the "Big Four" broadcast networks spend $18 billion per year on programming and related costs and get a paltry 2 percent return.


One solution, he suggested: Consumers can choose either to have zapless PVRs or to pay the fee to have the capability of skipping by commercials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess it was only a matter of time before these network execs started seeing dollar signs and coming after us PVR users.


Call me insane, but I don't have a problem paying these fees. BUT, it must go both ways. So when I invest an hour into some crappy over-hyped and lousy show, I demand that I be able to bill the network $250 per hour for wasting my time.


That sounds fair to me!
 

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Just seems like there's no end to this guy's specialness, eh?


I pay for good TV shows. Premiums for channels like Showtime, HBO, etc. If the commercial carrying stations want to match that quality, perhaps I'd be willing to pay for them, too. Instead, we get pieces of mediocrity stuck in between demands that we buy some equally mediocre product (and even moreso on TBS/TNT), and they get upset because we ain't interested in the hucksterism.
 

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Here's what I don't understand:


1) How dare the TV industry dictate what is available and at what price? They provide a service (in many cases for free) and unless I break the law, I can do whatever I want to their signal (including recording it and editing for viewing, ala Replay/Tivo)


2) If I can't get enough banner ads on my website to be profitable, because of all the new anti-popup programs people use, shoudl I sue those companies? Frankly I think we'd all agree that I'd find another way to suppliment my income. Why don't we just tell the TV networks to do the same? I don't care if they use product placement... if it affects a show, we watch something else, just like normal. I frankly don't care if commercials aren't profitable. I don't believe that they aren't anyway :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by LightBulb
From Broadcasting and Cable Magazine 5/6

One solution, he suggested: Consumers can choose either to have zapless PVRs or to pay the fee to have the capability of skipping by commercials.
This is nuts.


This assumes that you either have all PVRs or no PVRs. I certainly don't have a PVR at every TV.


This guy thinks we owe him and his over-paid associates a living? I don't think so.
 

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I could see something like this working -- if the television broadcast network is open and honest about it.


What they would have to do, is disclose the amount advertisers pay per ad, for every ad they show. Then, they need to have records of how many people viewed this commercial. Nielsen isn't good enough -- if sampling isn't good enough for the US Census it isn't good enough for me. If they are going to track every commercial we skip they can track every commercial that isn't skipped.


Now you can assign a "cost per skip".


Add the number of "commercial views" (those watching without PVR's) plus the number of "commercial skips" (those of us watching with PVR's or VCR's with commercial advance -- heck, they should also monitor VCR's for fast forward) for a given ad. Now divide the cost the advertiser paid for it by the total of views+skips, and assign a cost per viewer to the spot. I'll pay whatever this cost is -- and my bet is it isn't hundreds of dollars per year.


My bet is, it isn't worth their trouble to track.


If they can't give me a solid "cost" per commercial skip, they can't charge it.



Joe
 

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The problem is these people don't grasp the fact the world is changing and they cant be in control of it.. Their out dated business models are showing their age and they want to grasp onto and force something down our throats that is in the process of being evolved out of existence while still having a death grip on it.. Reeks of desperation to me..


All I can think of is how the horse and buggy people felt when the automobile came along.. If a hundred years ago there was a horse and buggy version of RIAA and the MPAA we would never have autos or if we did you would still be required to have a horse attached as well as use wooden wagon wheels or some other such nonsense for the sole purpose of keeping a dying industry going long past it's time..
 

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wow.. this is akin to those joke skits that people do on comedy shows:


fade in.


Guy wanders over to you with a saxamaphone and a cup attached to it.


You feel that he is going to play a nice tune and expect some coin in return.


Instead, he starts playing the most horrendous screeching possible because his reed isn't moistened enough and the notes are all over the place.


Then you notice on the cup says deposit money in cup ito make me stop. Not only does that drive me bonkers, but I would want to punch that guy.


Hey, Network Pinheads! Get the message???


Calvin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by calvin940
wow.. this is akin to those joke skits that people do on comedy shows:


fade in.


Guy wanders over to you with a saxamaphone and a cup attached to it.


You feel that he is going to play a nice tune and expect some coin in return.


Instead, he starts playing the most horrendous screeching possible because his reed isn't moistened enough and the notes are all over the place.


Then you notice on the cup says deposit money in cup ito make me stop. Not only does that drive me bonkers, but I would want to punch that guy.


Hey, Network Pinheads! Get the message??? You have rested on your ability to give us ****e all these years and we just had to site and take it. Guess what? That don't fly anymore.


Calvin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by calvin940
wow.. this is akin to those joke skits that people do on comedy shows:


fade in.


Guy wanders over to you with a saxamaphone and a cup attached to it.


You feel that he is going to play a nice tune and expect some coin in return.


Instead, he starts playing the most horrendous screeching possible because his reed isn't moistened enough and the notes are all over the place.


Then you notice on the cup says deposit money in cup ito make me stop. Not only does that drive me bonkers, but I would want to punch that guy.


Hey, Network Pinheads! Get the message???


Calvin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by calvin940
wow.. this is akin to those joke skits that people do on comedy shows:


fade in.


Guy wanders over to you with a saxamaphone and a cup attached to it.


You feel that he is going to play a nice tune and expect some coin in return.


Instead, he starts playing the most horrendous screeching possible because his reed isn't moistened enough and the notes are all over the place.


Then you notice on the cup says deposit money in cup ito make me stop. Not only does that drive me bonkers, but I would want to punch that guy.


Hey, Network Pinheads! Get the message???


Calvin
 

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Thanks Kellner, now I feel guilty for only tuning into the weather segment of the local news and not watching their other crap or commercials. I believe I'll send them a check right now to clear my conscience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Bixit219
The problem is these people (network execs) don't grasp the fact the world is changing and they cant be in control of it.. Their out dated business models are showing their age...
Yes they are and the network owners are very aware of it. That's why they have invested billions - scooping up cable channels, subscription based media, XM Radio, and even a few bucks thrown at PVR's. It's why the FCC changed ownership rules to give owners a better chance of turning a viable profit. The media business is changing very rapidly and the business model is being challenged. Much like the transformation talking place in Telecom. 10 years ago who would have thought that Cellular would become commodity, and that it would kill long distance revenues...the historic cash cow for Baby Bells.


It all changes. You either adapt...or you die.
 

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Actually, I was just thinking about this today- how much would we pay per show to watch if we could get them commercial free. Let's say you watch one tv show a day, and you paid $1 per show, that'd definitely be more than $250/yr. Also figure that every hour long show you save 15 min in commercials, so how much is 15 min worth to you monetarily? I know it's worth at least $1 to me.


So maybe it's not as insane as it sounds, because I'm thinking that if I liked a show, I wouldn't mind paying $1 per episode to watch it commercial free. Of course that doesn't take into account the money we're already paying for cable and pay channels and I suspect crappy shows wouldn't be terribly successful on a pay per episode basis. On the other hand, if I could get any show I wanted on demand whenever I wanted it, $1 per show would be damn cheap. I'd love to never worry about missing a show again- that's the main reason I love the show sharing now, for those times when something goes wrong and something I meant to record doesn't come out properly.


That said, I suspect that if a pay per show system were introduced it would be far more expensive, based on the crap the music companies have been pulling with their digital music programs. I'm sure the industry also realizes that if people had to pay for shows, they'd have to work a lot harder to get their audiences.


I personally feel commercial skipping should be legal on DVRs just like it is on VCRs, and I don't feel that just because it's the TV industry's business model to make money on ads that it's our responsibility to watch them or the government's responsibility to protect that business model. But if they did try to change their business model, I for one would be happy to pay a reasonable price to watch the shows I like commercial free, if they were delivered on demand to some degree. But if they are gonna charge for it, they should have to make the commercial free part 100% effective, since they have the technology to do so.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cdaveb


That said, I suspect that if a pay per show system were introduced ......
But it's just around the corner cdaveb.... it's called VOD (Video on Demand).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BaysideBas
But it's just around the corner cdaveb.... it's called VOD (Video on Demand).
VOD (non movie) shows (i.e. sitcoms, 1 hour, 1/2 hour shows) will still more than likely have commercials in the video stream... I would be VERY surprised if they didn't.
 

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Pay-per-Zap? TBS says you should


Why stop with PVR owners? TBS could surcharge everyone with a TV remote and make them pay when they switched channels during a commercial. They could bill us monthly or charge a one time fee of $250 when we buy a $9.95 remote from Radioshack.
 

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I was going to suggest just charging a lifetime fee when people buy TVs, but that unfairly lets some people off the hook just because they don't watch -- TBS makes their programming available, after all, it's not their fault if some people don't like it.


There should be a birth tax - $250 for 80 years (lifetimes are increasing!), discounted for paying all at once. That's just $15000, surely worth it to keep poor struggling artists like Gilbert Gottfried and the people who redubbed "The Breakfast Club" for Turner in work, no?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jtl
surely worth it to keep poor struggling artists like Gilbert Gottfried and the people who redubbed "The Breakfast Club" for Turner in work, no?
Let's not forget Tom "NoTalent" Arnold. He's gotta eat too.


As to messing with dialogue, nothing beats Bravo's handling of Jim Jarmusch's "Night on Earth". They bleeped all of the objectionable dialogue which was in English. But when the scene changed to Paris and the dialogue was in French, they left the English subtitles unsullied, in all their glory. Guess it's OK to read it, just not to hear it.:D :D :D
 
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