Turner CEO Kellner Calls Tivo Commercial Skipping "Theft"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nick Graham, May 2, 2002.

  1. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    This is one of the saddest things I have ever heard. Apparently we all are locked into some sort of unspoken contract with the networks that requires us to watch the commercials....otherwise we are stealing!
    Turner CEO Kellner Calls Commercial Skipping "Theft"
    Turner Broadcasting chief Jamie Kellner claims that personal digital recorders such as Tivo and the recording systems employed in new satellite settop boxes pose a threat to commercial cable companies and broadcasters. In an interview with Cableworld, Kellner said that what troubles him is "the ad skips" -- the ease with which viewers can eliminate commercials by hitting a button on their remotes when watching programs recorded on the devices. "It's theft," said Kellner. "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 ... you're actually stealing the programming." Asked about viewers who go to the bathroom during commercial breaks, Kellner responded, "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 ... to make it easy for someone to skip a commercial."
     
  2. Dave Crigna

    Dave Crigna Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, it makes me wonder what he thinks of channel surfing during his network commercials...what a stupid statement to make. Then again look who he works for...enough said[​IMG]
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I can see where he's coming from but this is taking a little too far.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    What's he gonna do buy out Tivo and fix them so they only scan during the program? I seldom watch anything but what my Tivo has recorded. Call me the cat burglar[​IMG]! Given the track TV is on I hardly bother watching anything outside of news and sports as it is. kellner and his kind are busy trying to rig digital TV against time shifting and commercial skipping. Maybe they can "fix" TV sets not to change channels or allow volume reductions during commercials? I see a possible future where I don't even watch TV at all, except for my fabulous disc collection, of course!
    These Holleywood types are patheic. Can you hear me now? Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go...
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  6. Joseph_Mikhail

    Joseph_Mikhail Stunt Coordinator

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    Good grief. What is the point of making a statement like that. Does he think we are all going to start watching the commercials now.

    Looks like someone needs a nap.
     
  7. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Let me draw it out for you.

    AMERICAN CEO = TESTOSTERONE-POISONED IDIOT

    This is one of the immutable laws of the universe, like E=MC2
     
  8. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    While I dislike commercials as much as the next guy, he does have a point. The whole reason anyone can watch the shows we see on TV is because of the revenue generated from selling ad space. Advertisers who know their ads aren't going to be watched will stop buying space, and programming becomes unavailable. The price you pay for "free" cable is the ad interruptions.

    What this could mean is that either commercial advertising stops, which puts an end to free over the air TV that we know, or devices that make commercial skipping easy become legislated out of existence in order to protect at least the _potential_ that some of the ads are being viewed. Someone has to pay for the programming. If the advertisers get no benefit for footing the bill, the consumer will end up paying for it with increased cable costs, or a pay per view service.
     
  10. David WS

    David WS Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand his point, but breaking a contract? Come on people, come back to earth.
    The other option the programmers have is to imbed the adds in the show. Like a PIP window or a scroll at the bottom. I can't imagine this being a successful way to advertise but it is something they could do.
    I have a TIVO and love it. I constanlty skip adds. But somtimes I actually stop and go back when an Add looks good or interesting. Maybe this will help get rid of some of the horrible adds on TV. [​IMG] We can all hope?
     
  11. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Some of the Replay devices that completely eliminate the ads are questionable, but the ability to fast forward through them? Has this guy checked his calendar lately...VCRs do the same thing and have been out for a good while.

    One of the major selling points of my TiVOed superbowl party was that we could watch the ads over and over if we wanted...maybe if you give us good, funny, smart, and original advertising we MIGHT watch it.
     
  12. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    So I guess using a Pop-Up blocker is theft too?
     
  13. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    In that case my living room is ahead of its time. I don't watch enough TV to justify getting cable and rabbit ears are next to worthless around here so my home is TV free.
     
  14. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Scott, I was thinking the same thing... I don't remember any contract. Apparently when we were born there was some foot/hand print that was used to sign a contract. I know I've never signed up for commercials.

    Hell, what am I paying my cable/directv for? They pay the networks, therefore I'm paying the networks.

    DAMN! I just realize I'm going to get sued big time when the network finds out I go to the bathroom during commercials. I'm sure I've done that A LOT!
     
  15. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Carl, No TV? Must be nice to have a projector setup. =)
     
  16. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    QUITE a while ago I posted here and a few other places that this would be an issue with digital based technology. This is but a prelude to the programmers taking control of Tivo and other like minded media. Take some time to see what is about to happen to HDTV and all. And when you add SpyWare...well..digital is indeed a blessing and a curse.

    Thing is, these bastards and bastard-ettes want to have total control over what you see. Just consider the assault on your fav programs by station bugs...flying logos and ads when the show resumes right after coming out of commercial. NO ONE likes this picture noise..but the networks, et al could care less.
     
  17. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Heck...half the time when I'm watching recorded shows one of my two DIRECT TiVo's - I sometimes forget that I have the ability to ->FF thru the commercials. I always think I'm watching LIVE TV [​IMG]
    Now I'll remember to ->FF right past the commercials because it feels so criminal like....like I'm getting something for free. [​IMG]
     
  18. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    Heck!, I’m paying premium for basic cable already, and I should have never seen any cable commercials in the first place, back in the late 70’s when they were first pushing CATV and many complained about channels with commercials, they claimed that as more and more viewers signed up CATV, commercials revenues will greatly reduce the cost of cable, Have you seen your cable bill lately?

    PS: there was a link here with a satirical piece about “Studios Execs” trying to make it illegal to possess any memories of previously seen films or shows, anybody has this link?
     
  19. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Why should I waste another minute of my time sitting through for the third or umpteenth time a description of a product I already have (even if not the same brand) or of a product I know I do not want to buy?
    >>But don't forget they have the commercials on our "fabulous disc collection"'s now and you can't skip some of them now! (just like the FBI warnings)
    I'm glad I still have my laserdisk collection, I can skip the FBI warning on them.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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