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Comcast Punishes DVR Ad Skippers with…Ads
By: Aaron Whitaker
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According to FierceCable, Comcast recently filed a patent for technology that would show targeted ads to viewers who skip commercials while watching shows recorded on their DVRs. While this won’t make viewers very happy, it could make Comcast very happy with a new advertising revenue stream.
 
While it isn’t known when this new technology may take effect, it appears that Comcast is ready to implement it based on the patent. Currently people watching recorded shows on their DVRs can easily skip the TV ads by pressing a button. For many this is a huge plus to watching shows on their DVRs as opposed to watching live, since they don’t have to watch all of the commercials. But with the new technology that Comcast has filed a patent for, the days of skipping commercials is coming soon for Comcast customers.
 
According to the patent, Comcast will show an ad on the screen when someone pushes a button to skip the recorded commercials. Comcast is basically creating another advertising revenue stream that they will be able to sell to advertisers. The irony is that they could be selling ad space to the advertisers who the viewers are skipping over in the first place.

I foresee a lot of backlash if Comcast follows through with this technology. Many companies like Facebook and YouTube are looking for ways to minimize the advertising and make it less obvious and more natural through sponsored videos and posts. But Comcast seems to think that punishing viewers who skip ads with more ads will somehow be OK and acceptable by its customers. It’s also interesting to note that one of their competitors, Dish, introduced Auto Hop, which will eliminate the ads from the major networks’ primetime shows that customers have recorded on their DVRs. So rather than having to push "skip" on the remote to skip over the commercials, the DVR will remove them completely.
 
I think it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next couple months; I suspect once people learn more about Comcast’s new technology, they’ll start complaining. While I understand cable and satellite companies need to make money from advertising, I think there are smarter and less obtrusive ways to deliver ads than what it seems Comcast is planning to do.


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About the Author
Aaron Whitaker is a copywriter, blogger, and social media aficionado who likes watching the TV commercials more than the actual shows. He prefers reading the magazine ads over the articles. And you can learn more about him online right here.
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