On the day ABC and ESPN announced a VOD trial with Cox in Southern
California in which programs would be aired with the fast forward feature
disabled, a panel of advertising executives said they did not expect the
strategy to become widespread.
"There would have to be an (agreement) and everyone in the industry would
have to do it at the same time and my guess is that won't happen," said ESPN
executive vice president of sales and marketing Sean Bratches, speaking at
the NCTA conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.The test involves ABC shows like Grey's Anatomy as well as the network's
college football games.Instead the group of cable ad sales executives focused on the ongoing
efforts to find Tivo-proof advertising."I don't think (disabling fast forwarding) will happen in most models," said
Comcast Spotlight president Charlie Thurstom. "I think we will invent more
weapons to get ads in front of consumers."Thurston also said he was "bullish" on the 30-second spot, though going
forward its relevance will necessitate more interactivity."It will take a lot of evolution and frankly revolution and for that we're
trying to re-energize the consumer's experience," agreed MTV Networks ad
sales president Hank Close, citing examples such as picture-in-picture
technology and "pod-busters."Time Warner Cable Media Sales president Joan Gillman also noted that with
consumers often watching DVR'd programs that with commercials skipped don't
end on the hour or half-hour, the industry is looking at ways to then hold
that viewer with regularly-scheduled progams not beginning immediately
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