Blog Entry #4

A Response to:

The links above take you to articles that illustrate a classic “limiting factor” issue. In this case CBS and Dish are going at it in court. Read the pieces and comment on the issue. See if you can define what the problem is. Is there a solution? Is it really a problem? Should it be a problem? Do you agree with one side or the other? Why?


So, all of the major Cable networks are taking legal action against Dish and its magical Hopper doohickey. Apparently the Cable networks are pissed that Dish found a simpler way to handle the most annoying part of utilizing a DVR equipped television; fast-forwarding through all the commercials.

Is this really a problem? Only if you’re currently operating or working for a cable network whose primary revenue stream comes from ads.

Here’s the deal: if Americans don’t want to watch the ads, we won’t watch ads. If cable networks want us to watch the ads, then they will likely suffer financially. The reason ReplayTV failed was because their plan was too far ahead of its time. Now Americans know the technology exists, and the novelty has enchanted us. We want it, and we have the money.

Though the cable networks will likely win their case, it is only a matter of time before someone else finds a way to use this technology legally. When that happens, all the networks will have to find a way to innovate if they want to survive the wrath of America’s deteriorating attention span.

My opinion: Networks should offer an optional service to subscribers which allows the skipping of ads (for a nominal fee). No ads for customers, and the networks have the chance to recoup some of the lost advertising revenue. Win-win.


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