Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on May 6th, 2002, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

It always amazes me how corporate America’s top brass can only see ahead for one or two *quarters* max. That’s not visionary, it’s short-sighted. Take for example the executives at large TV networks and movie studios. Would they not have witnessed the ongoing “Napster” issues in audio and thought to themselves that the technology to do the same in video would likely soon come around. Apparently not. Turner’s CEO Jamie Kellner is recently quoted as saying TiVo use equals TV theft because it allows the filtering of commercials. Sure, it’s a threat to his revenues but his argument is about as juvenile as that of the RIAA and major record labels.

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.”

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