[mythtv-users] FW: TV Watch: A Swing And A Miss: TV Consumers Take Another Strike

Dean Collins Dean at cognation.net
Tue May 11 21:41:58 UTC 2010

Or Not :-)









From: MediaPost Publications [mailto:news at mediapost.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 5:22 PM
To: Dean Collins
Subject: TV Watch: A Swing And A Miss: TV Consumers Take Another Strike







A Swing And A Miss: TV Consumers Take Another Strike
A media critique by Wayne Friedman, Tuesday, May 11, 2010 


TV programmers first toyed with us by offering their premium TV shows on
the Internet with only three to five minutes per hour of commercials --
half to three-quarters less than exists on traditional TV. 

Recently there have been rumblings of TV networks/programmers (now that
we have been digitally hooked) wanting to raise Internet commercial load
levels to where traditional TV exists, around 10 minutes or more.

The good news? As traditional TV viewers, we could always (at least 40%
of the country) fast-forward through those messages via our trusty DVR

But all this might change. A recent Federal Communications Commission
permitted-to-disable-set-top-box-output-remotely>  gave movie studios
the ability to stop viewers from time-shifting films on video-on-demand

Studios are now allowed to stop this practice -- via remotely changing
consumers' set-top box connections
<http://www.tvnewscheck.com/articles/2010/05/10/daily.1/>  -- to prevent
illegal copying of movies.

Consumer-advocacy groups say this is a dangerous move, just a short step
to allowing all TV content owners this ability -- which has been
technically possible for years. 

The FCC has prohibited the use of so-called "selectable output control"
technology, which encodes video programming with a signal to remotely
disable set-top box output connections -- because it breaches the
privacy of consumer's in-home media activities and equipment. 

But just as Internet TV could soon have as many ads as the traditional
kind, future TV activity could return to the old ages, pre-2000, when
most of the TV viewing public couldn't fast-forward through commercials.

According to the FCC, the change is in the consumer's best interest. It
will reportedly give studios the ability to release movies faster into
the market after their theatrical release. Studios also say they can
save marketing dollars -- by bridging a shorter time gap between
theatrical and new digitally released windows.

This is fuzzy logic at best. We all know movie studios and TV companies
do what's the best interest of making the most money. What if the new
earlier market doesn't develop? Will studios turn back on the

Media companies have been running scared they won't be able to figure
out future entertainment habits of consumers with the growing number of
new devices. So they are covering all angles.

TV marketers could be thrilled with this decision because it might set a
precedent for other, more-marketing-favorable FCC actions. 

But consumers might just change their behavior in directions people
least expect. Word of warning to the studios: Look what happen to the
DVD market over the last couple of years. What if this decline hits
other parts of the entertainment business?

This commentary is insightful. I recommend it to others.

Post your response to the public TV Watch blog.

See what others are saying on the TV Watch blog.


Wayne Friedman is West Coast Editor of MediaPost.





TV Watch for Tuesday, May 11, 2010:


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