Over at TechDirt, we find information about an idea from ABC to combat DVRs by providing the bulk of their programming via video-on-demand, with embedded commercials and no ability to fast-forward.
Read that again. We’re not kidding. The quote:
Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC television group, claims: “You don’t need TiVo if you have fast-forward-disabled video on demand. It gives you the same opportunity to catch up to your favorite shows.”
It gets better:
Then there’s Ray Cole, who owns some ABC affiliates. He says: “As network and affiliates, we both have an interest in slowing down the explosive growth of DVRs. This is about combating DVRs. As we developed this at every stage, there was an agreement that however we put this together, disabling the fast-forward function was key.” I’m curious as to how Mr. Cole thinks offering a product that does much less and deliberately takes away a key feature will “slow down” the “explosive growth of DVRs.” You don’t compete by offering a worse product. You compete by offering a better product. Taking away one of the key selling points of a product is not exactly a major selling point.
We own Tivo at our house in no small part BECAUSE we can skip commercials easily. Why on earth would we pay money for a device that does less? Clearly, the quality of the dope at ABC is stellar.