ABC wants to disable fast-forwarding on digital video recorders

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Via BoingBoing:
ABC Looks Beyond Upfront To DVR, Commercial Ratings Issues (needs you to sign in – use username ‘wasteoftime’, password ‘wasteoftime’):

“ABC HAS HELD DISCUSSIONS ON the use of technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended.

Shaw also threw cold water on the idea that neutering the fast-forward option would result in a consumer backlash. He suggested that consumers prefer DVRs for their ability to facilitate on-demand viewing and not ad-zapping–and consumers might warm to the idea that anytime viewing brings with it a tradeoff in the form of unavoidable commercial viewing.
“I’m not so sure that the whole issue really is one of commercial avoidance,” Shaw said. “It really is a matter of convenience–so you don’t miss your favorite show. And quite frankly, we’re just training a new generation of viewers to skip commercials because they can. I’m not sure that the driving reason to get a DVR in the first place is just to skip commercials. I don’t fundamentally believe that. People can understand in order to have convenience and on-demand (options), that you can’t skip commercials.

It’s hardly worth commenting on this (without going off on a rant), except to note that maybe he should be talking to Philips

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