[opendtv] Re: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

I was happy with 60 Minutes and local PBS off my roof antenna in LA (except for 
the early ATSC days) until I needed a faster data
connection and DSL wasn't an option.  So I got cable.  The Iron Chef, 
Discovery, ESPN and a few other things (now MythBusters, which
is very cool) came along with it.

I tune out during the ads, and I mentally model the things I do like to watch 
which aren't OTA like a utility bill (a la DWP).  So,
while my primary justification for getting cable at all was data, the rest that 
I *do* watch I pay for without thinking.  Do I wish
it was all free?  Sure.  But I don't think it's *pay* in the sense you're 
talking about.

-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 2:24 PM
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [opendtv] Re: Is 'Fair Use' in Peril?

So, if you don't buy advertised products, TV is free?  TV is certainly free for 
me, other than the time and hardware.

Actually, as is so often the case, you've gotten it backwards.  If there was no 
TV advertising (very few products are actually
advertised on TV, and most of them have very high price tags) people interested 
in promoting those tv-advertised products would use
less efficient means for advertising, resulting in higher ad costs per sale, 
hence higher costs per sale, hence higher sales prices.
Did someone sleep through an economics class?  Ever hear of opportunity costs?

John Willkie

> At 12:39 PM -0500 11/29/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>>Well, there is the other side to consider. If commercials cannot work, 
>>then the public will be forced to pay more out of pocket for something 
>>that's been "free" as long as TV has existed. So that is not 
>>necessarily in the public's best interest either.
>
> Bert...
>
> We've been through this before. TV has NEVER been free.
>
> The price we pay for "free TV" is embedded in the cost of the products 
> that are advertised.
>
> So the real issue here is not whether we may be force to pay more out 
> of pocket - which at least 85% of us are already doing - but whether 
> we must pay twice to watch programming that is filled with 
> commercials.  I am growing very tired of paying ~$45/month for a bunch 
> of broadcast and cable channels that are all filled with ads.
>
> Could I spend that $45 to pay directly for commercial free programming?
>
> It could happen.
>
>>
>>Even for those who have made themselves dependent on a multichannel 
>>provider, higher monthly fees can be expected, if commercials don't 
>>work.
>
> But commercials DO work. We would not be barraged with them if they 
> did not. The truth is that a huge percentage of TV viewing is just a 
> "background task," while we are doing other things. This means that we 
> are not taking an active role in watching the program, skipping 
> commercials, etc.
>
> What is far more likely to happen is the development of alternative
>
> forms of payment for content, including new forms of opt in ads that 
> are more targeted, and thus more valuable to advertisers.
>
> The real issue is not the ads, but their relevance to the viewer.
> Shot-gun advertising rarely hits real targets.
>
>>
>>But there's a simple enough compromise. Just let recorders fast 
>>forward through commercials, but not just automatically skip over 
>>them. With disk type recorders especially, FF still shows the 
>>commercial enough to see the product name and to slow down playback if 
>>the commercial seems interesting. Which I do often enough.
>
> This is in essence what they do now. The only enhancement to this with 
> Tivo is that you can press a button that fast forwards in 30 second 
> increments. I do not know of any PVR that automatically skips 
> commercials, but it is possible that someone has done this.
>
>>
>>The FF speed has to be fast enough to make it worth while, though, so 
>>that mean maybe 8X or 16X. That still shows enough frames to see 
>>what's going on.
>
> With digital you can do this in many ways. Better yet, you can provide 
> a parade of still frames, which may actually work as well as the real 
> ad, since you get the major brand impression even while in FF.
>
>>
>>Seems obvious that you can't simply yank away the revenue source for 
>>broadcasters. And forcing everyone to become pregnant with a 
>>multichannel provider is no solution either. Some might think *that's* 
>>being "controlled by special interests." I certainly would, if that 
>>were the "solution" Congress comes up with.
>
> It seems that ad revenues manage to remain static or grow, despite the 
> fact that a huge chunk of the audience is gone. Go figure...
>
> Perhaps the more important issue for the future will be the ability to 
> bypass ALL of the existing TV services. IP TV could have a much bigger 
> impact on commercial advertising than Tivo. And I would not discount 
> the trend toward releasing episodic television (without
> commercials) on DVDs.
>
> Regards
> Craig
>
>
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