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Skipping commercials is stealing according to Turner CEO

Nemesis77

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2001
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Credit: /. and 2600.com

JK is Jamie Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting.



<< CW: How do you do that without destabilizing the current model?

JK: How would that destabilize it? We'd be running the exact same spots. It would all be incremental viewership. That's just one idea. I'm a big believer we have to make television more convenient or we will drive the penetration of PVRs and things like that, which I'm not sure is good for the cable industry or the broadcast industry or the networks.

CW: Why not?

JK: Because of the ad skips.... It's theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming.

CW: What if you have to go to the bathroom or get up to get a Coke?

JK: I guess there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom. But if you formalize it and you create a device that skips certain second increments, you've got that only for one reason, unless you go to the bathroom for 30 seconds. They've done that just to make it easy for someone to skip a commercial.
>>



Source

Well, there's something for you to chew on! Begin discussion!
 

Hubris

Platinum Member
Jul 14, 2001
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He's sort of got a point. Their entire revenue structure is based on advertisers (well, except for cable subscriptions, but it is possible to watch TV without paying for it), so to build it into a device to avoid ads, companies might start thinking "Why bother?". Of course, he's also overreacting, at least currently, as things like TiVo that will skip ads for you are not incredibly popular. They're still hitting most people with the ads, I would think. Maybe if there's a HUGE increase in TiVo and ReplayTV-like devices they might start seeing a decline in ad revenue, but that's a long way off, I would think.
 

Kadarin

Lifer
Nov 23, 2001
44,311
8
81


<< JK: Because of the ad skips.... It's theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming. >>



Our "contract" with the network, hmm? Funny.. I didn't sign a contract. If I was under 18 here in the US, I can't even legally sign a contract if I wanted to. This guy thinks that I'm obligated to watch every commercial I see? Does he do the same?

Networks sell commercial time, and advertisers voluntarily purchase that time on the hope that enough viewers will see the commercial to influence sales of the product/service they're offering. However, that's all that it is, hope. The dot-com advertising model crashed, so maybe the commercial television advertising model will crash too. If so, start researching new business models...
 

Nemesis77

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2001
7,329
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0


<< He's sort of got a point. Their entire revenue structure is based on advertisers (well, except for cable subscriptions, but it is possible to watch TV without paying for it), so >>



Yep, they get money from the ads. But they can't force anyone to watch them. And the viewer does not sign a contract with the company to watch the ads. Not watching ads is not illegal, and building devices that eliminate ads is not illegal either.

EDIT: am I a thief if I surf the net and never click on any of the banners? Am I a thief if I refuse to click on the annoying flashing banner to "claim my prize"? I don't think so.
 

Nefrodite

Banned
Feb 15, 2001
7,931
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its an interesting dilema:p u gotta have ads for free tv. and even cable costs are subsidized, no one would want to pay the true cost of tv. and product placement within a show isn't really practical. i like tv, so damn u tivo!
 

Fraggle

Senior member
Sep 17, 2000
474
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the only contract going on is between the network and the advertisers... and the terms of that are fully understood between both of those parties. advertisers know that people don't intentionally watch commmercials, but also that most viewers don't get up every commercial break. advertisers know what they are buying with their spot time AS IS, and we can assume that they pay amounts that they think is appropriate for it. the supply and demand for TV ad space is a relationship between the broadcast company and the advertisers. yes, the existence of the market is based upon viewer demand for programming, but it is not the responsibility a market's constituents to maintain that market. there's no reason, and certainly no contract (legal, social, implied, or otherwise), for anything to change on the viewer side of the system.

so the whole "stealing" claim is ridiculous. and not watching commercial breaks, even if you avoid them via a TiVO device, is nothing more/less than choosing how to spend your time.
 

MikeO

Diamond Member
Jan 17, 2001
3,026
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I never ever watch commercials, I always flip channels, always. And I will continue to do so.
 

Kadarin

Lifer
Nov 23, 2001
44,311
8
81
Personally, I think Tivo is the best thing since sliced bread. I work 3rd shift, and in addition to watching what I want when I want, I also save precious time (that can be spent sleeping) by skipping through the commercials at high speed. Typically, you can watch a 1 hour show in 40 minutes.

If Tivo becomes mainstream, I still believe that business models need to be revised (as opposed to the industry buying legislation mandating the viewing of commercials).
 

Skyclad1uhm1

Lifer
Aug 10, 2001
11,384
87
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Ok, if we start in that way: I do not have a contract for visiting websites, so if they have pop-up windows they use MY computer for THEIR purposes, and require MY time and effort to close THEIR windows. I think you should be able to sue them for that, if they want to open windows they can bloody well do that on their own computers in their own time.

Unless a site requires you sign an agreement on getting pop-up windows and banners (especially flashing ones) they should be forbidden!

If I have an 'obligation' to watch the commercials during a show I want to watch ok, but then they have to refund me for all the commercials before shows, which cause shows to start late. And I never agreed on getting shows I didn't like, so I'll have a refund for that too. And anything offensive of course. Offensive to my ideas that is.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
61,074
4,694
126
If the advertisement model fails, look for channel subscriptions coming to a cable company near you soon.

All of the "premium" TV stations like Cinemax and HBO are ad free, but you have to pay $5, $10, $15 a month to get them. If the ads go bye-bye because they are failing or the station owners think too many people are skipping them, then they'll pursue other ways of gaining revenue.

As we've seen on the net, subscriptions are the way things are heading.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,389
74
91
In a typical week I watch no CBS, ABC, NBC, or Fox programs. Generally most of my viewing is the pay networks (HBO, MAX, SHO, Nik, etc) so I will not lose any sleep over the commercial networks problems. They brought this on themselves with their ill thought out cutoff of my access to network broadcasts on DirecTV. I and a lot of others found out we can get along just fine without the broadcast networks when they were dropped from our satellite systems. I have cut back my TV viewing so much now that I do not expect to be affected by anything that happens with the broadcast networks. I smile every time I read a story regarding their declining viewership numbers.
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,430
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I don't watch enough tv to care about broadcast revenues. They can all charge for tv and it wouldn't make any difference to me. What I do watch I pay for through cable and if that went up in cost any more than it is I would quit watching tv altogether; no loss to my life that's for sure. In my twenties I went for about 6 years without ever watching tv; too many other more entertaining things to do and I'd happily do it again.
 

yakko

Lifer
Apr 18, 2000
25,455
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<< JK: Because of the ad skips.... It's theft. >>

Dots in an interview like that usually indicate where text was left out. I would like to see the whole statement.
 

gunf1ghter

Golden Member
Jan 29, 2001
1,866
0
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LMAO... just try and take my Tivo away beeyatch!

:)

Maybe if commercials weren't so horrible I would watch more of them.

I swear though, I can't handle one more Madame Cleo, Bowflex, Herbal boner help, or get rich quick scheme commercial.
 

Dually

Golden Member
Dec 20, 2000
1,628
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Cable wasn't even supposed to have commercials when it started, so they are stealing, not the viewer.
 

Nemesis77

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2001
7,329
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<< Am I stealing when I flip channels during commercials? >>



According to the CEO of Turner, yes you are.
 

Nemesis77

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2001
7,329
0
0


<< Am I stealing when I flip channels during commercials? >>



According to the CEO of Turner, yes you are.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,214
2
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Silly. I can kind of understand a point but i channel surf during commercials anyway so that I don't have to watch them.
 

CocaCola5

Golden Member
Jan 5, 2001
1,599
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So if you paid 29.95 a month for cable and you watched only 3 hrs a week you're stealing because you didn't see the commercials? What kind of weak logic is that, you paid the service for a reason and that is to have the service available when ever the time you want it, not so you can sit there watching a slew of commericals one after another.
 

Texmaster

Banned
Jun 5, 2001
5,445
0
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I dont think people would stop buying food, insurance, or bathroom products just because they wern't on tv ;)
 

Jzero

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
18,834
1
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<<

<< Am I stealing when I flip channels during commercials? >>



According to the CEO of Turner, yes you are.
>>



When you skip commercials, the terrorists win!
All I can say is "Welcome to America, Jamie Kellner."
We have this amazing thing called the "free market." I dunno how you got to be chairman/CEO without knowing how this works. The businesses are a two-way street.
Advertisers buy airtime on network/broadcast stations because they feel that these advertisements gain them revenue.
Stations sell the time to offset the cost of operations.
There is no contract between the viewer and either the broadcaster or the advertiser.
In fact, the signals are being broadcast into the viewer's home whether he/she likes it or not. My home is always being bombarded with these signals and I don't even have a television. Since I'm receiving the signals, and not watching the commercials, am I also a thief?
Can I sue for slander?

Anyway, the fact of the matter is this:
Your television is your receiver and you are free to do with it as you please. If you want to turn off a program, you can. If you want to to turn off a commercial, you can. If you want to pipe the output to some form of recorder and edit out the commercials, you can.

As has been said--the Internet is learning that ad-based revenue isn't good enough.
Perhaps television is starting to learn the same thing.

Personally, I think that 90% of all ads are completely ineffective. Unless they are informing me of something new, they are useless. Did Dr. Pepper really win over any Mr. Pibb drinkers with their latest ad campaign?
I highly doubt it.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,411
5,423
126


<< Cable wasn't even supposed to have commercials when it started, so they are stealing, not the viewer. >>

actually cable was invented to get better transmission of regular broadcasts in places that get bad reception (say 1st floor apartment or basement in manhattan). so it inherently had commercials.
 

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