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Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature 578

therealobsideus writes "Dish recently announced Auto Hop, giving its customers with the Hopper DVR the ability to 'hop' past commercial break on recordings. In response, Fox has filed suit against Dish in U.S. District Court, seeking to block the technology." The L.A. Times has coverage, too. Fox claims that giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on recorded television shows demonstrates the "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem."
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Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:15PM (#40105563)
    Commercials are mandatory! Any attempt to not view them will result in a law suite!
    • Next: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:20PM (#40105589)
      Browsers that getted sued for having ad blocking features.
    • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:24PM (#40105623)
      Next, man sued for getting beer during commercials. The assertive defence is that the beer he was getting was in the commercials, but FOX claims that is a moot point. Budweiser to file amicus curiae brief. Says they do not support suing their own customers.
      • by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:14PM (#40105977)

        What really makes me wonder what these idiots are smoking is if average Joe gets up and looks for snacks , grabs his wife's boobs, accidentally sharts and has to hit the bathroom, is he violating the contract that makes TV possible?

        Why aren't people who pay for cable TV being taxed (so to speak) twice? Once for the subscription and once again for the fucking ads? One of cable TVs big "draws" in the early days was "no commercials..." That didn't last.

        Basically we have a bunch of suits who have no idea how stupid they sound... I don't know what's more sad, the idea itself or the actual spreading of the idea... I have this sneaking suspicion no one at Fox (Hey Rupert, suck my crank!) has a voice in their head that tells them "that's a bad idea... keep it to yourself." I imagine they learned about electricity by sticking a fork in a light socket too.

        Explains a great many things, I think.. Suffice to say, is there anyone sane left in the entertainment industry? My decision to skip the theater and rental counter is becoming a better and better idea.

        I think Joe Sixpack slapped with a lawsuit for getting beer might wake the sheeple up enough to say "what the fuck?" instead of "ooooh. I gotta drop mad bank on a 3D tv so I can experience movies how they were MEANT to be seen! To the Best Buy!"

        • Once for the subscription and once again for the fucking ads? One of cable TVs big "draws" in the early days was "no commercials..." That didn't last.

          I hear ya. Same for Satellite radio. Bought my first new car with one two months back and I was quite surprised to hear commercials on the non-native channels (Fox, CNN, etc).

          Even more annoying was that they appeared to be the same 5 damned UBER obnoxious ones over and over. Hell, the most obnoxious one was for one of the native Sirius channels that I expect doesnt get much listenership. (I dont recall the channel but it was VERY niche... ) While they love to tout the fact that you can listen to the same station cross country without losing it, they make it so you dont WANT to listen to it cross country...

          • by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:04PM (#40106211)

            I wonder if these folks would be shocked to hear that even VCR's had a feature known as 'Fast Forward'. It was a ground breaking function that allowed one to skip content they did not want to see on a recording.

            • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:20PM (#40106299) Journal
              Not only that, some VCR remotes had a button specifically designed to make it easy to skip commercials: each press skipped by forward 30 seconds.
            • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:07AM (#40106473) Journal

              I wonder if YOU would be to hear that there WAS a lawsuit pretty much for that reason a Long long time ago...

              Home and professional recording

              One other major consequence of the Betamax technology's introduction to the U.S. was the lawsuit Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (1984, the "Betamax case"), with the U.S. Supreme Court determining home videotaping to be legal in the United States, wherein home videotape cassette recorders were a legal technology since they had substantial noninfringing uses. This precedent was later invoked in MGM v. Grokster (2005), where the high court agreed that the same "substantial noninfringing uses" standard applies to authors and vendors of peer-to-peer file sharing software (notably excepting those who "actively induce" copyright infringement through "purposeful, culpable expression and conduct").

              I could have just linked BUT I think that copying for personal use is rather appropriate in a story like this. See? A small unknown and rather likable company always looking out to protect the common man against big evil media companies, Sony, stood their ground and gave us the VCR and made it so that ungrateful snots like DJRumpy don't even remember that once the media he has been spoonfed since birth wanted to deny him this.

              Mind you, all this is an old story that has to deal with one of those "everyone knows the social rule but nobody follows it because we are all special but others should follow it because they are not".

              Fox has a point, oh my god I will go to hell for that, TV broadcasting gets it money by giving YOU TV and advertisters eyeballs to watch the commercials. It is pretty straight forward entertainment advertising. You watch the pretty girl strut her stuff, you take in that smoking might be good for you after all. Soaps made this very clear, "Women of the world, you like endless drama that never ever gets to a point? Well, we at your favority washing powder brand (and since we give you this lovely tv, surely we are) give you what you want, both on the TV and in the washing machine!".

              Of course, this social contract sorta goes two ways. The advertiser actually has to put on a show. The girl has to be pretty, the TV for women absolutely devoid of any intelligence whatsoever. It is NOT part of the contract to completely saturate the viewer and remove any actual entertainment no matter how vapid from the stream. You shouldn't put the pretty girl completely inside the giant pack of smokes. The deal is, nice bits stick out to make it worth looking at her!

              TV now has a cable cost, special channels cost extra subscription fees and in exchange for this, we get even MORE commercials!

              It is NOT that people hate commercials, see the superbowl ads but it is that when you PUT them freaking everywhere and turn the super bowl into 3 hours of commercials and 15 minutes of action (actually, ain't it already that? Perhaps I should not have used the most boring sport in the world as an example) with the action overlaid and surrounded by ads people just get annoyed.

              If you put on a production of a classical piece of theather say eh.... Hamlet ( I do know more then one piece, I assure you! I am not an American after all, no I don't have to proof it) and put up a message "this brought to you by Coca Cola" few would mind. You might even put a banner beside the stage for the brand. BUT if you start to go "To drink Coke or to drink a lesser known brand" people will start to get upset.

              Soaps were okay to be interrupted every now and then, after all it gave the women sometime to do some actually bloody housework. It always struck me as odd how women can claim house work is so fucking hard when there is all this TV aimed at them during their supposed working hours. How many TV programs are on during the day aimed at men at work? ZERO! Men don't get to lay on the sofa and watch TV all day dammit! We got to mess around with that new sexy teen girl intern non-stop! How about my wife mess around with the intern and I lay on the

              • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:11AM (#40107077) Journal

                Fox has a point, oh my god I will go to hell for that, TV broadcasting gets it money by giving YOU TV and advertisters eyeballs to watch the commercials.

                If Fox can't generate sufficient revenue to continue broadcasting, because people are skipping ads, then Fox should stop broadcasting.

                They shouldn't sue people that aren't watching the ads.

                That expectation that the law must protect their outmoded (and exploitative) business models is what fucks me off so much about the media industries. Find a new business model. Find a new business. Engage and embrace your customers, because clearly they want to watch Fox, they just don't want fucking adverts.

                • because clearly they want to watch Fox, they just don't want fucking adverts

                  That's odd, my (Aussie built) bullshit detector can't distinguish any difference between Fox News, and a fucking advert. Same strange phenomena occurs here, shows like "A current Affair" and "Today Tonight" are actually popular with people who claim to despise adverts. I think it's a phenomena worthy of further study, maybe there's some money in it?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:24PM (#40105625)

      I had a law suite, once. The lease agreement was 249 pages long and I had to pay $500 per hour just to stand in the doorway.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I had one too. A friend who works for a firm that has a suite at a sports venue, and apparently they didn't have any customers to entertain on a night when WNBA was playing. It was surprisingly entertaining and even better with the free soda and sandwiches...
    • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:29PM (#40105669)

      If this is illegal, what the fuck is a DVR? What the fuck is a VCR? Both can be used to circumvent commercials.

      Man, I hope they get their ass smacked down for this, just as those other idiots did in the past in the other [wikipedia.org] lawsuits [wikipedia.org].

      • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:48PM (#40105805)
        I don't see the legal issue with it, but certainly if everyone starts using such a service then advertisers will see no value in it and abandon free-to-air and it will die leaving only paid services. Personally I don't have a problem with that as i never watch free-to-air anyway but i know a lot of people would be unhappy about losing free-to-air.
      • The funny thing to me is that more and more of even my older customers are just saying 'fuck this!" and doing all their TV watching over the net. All this stupid shit does is give folks one more reason to avoid regular TV. I know that even though I have basic cable (its cheaper where I'm at to get the bundle) I haven't even bothered plugging in my cap card so I can watch it because I can watch anything I want to on the net. if they have a commercial i can just pop over to something else while the BS plays (

      • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:02PM (#40105885)

        If this is illegal, what the fuck is a DVR? What the fuck is a VCR? Both can be used to circumvent commercials...

        Ah, quite right, but apparently fast-forwarding a commercial at 200x and not being able to see a damn thing vs. being able to skip it altogether and not be able to see a damn thing are worlds apart legally...er, somehow.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:55PM (#40106169) Journal
        Honestly, I don't really care about the TV issue one way or the other; but the potential precedent is ugly.

        If Dish's plan were to tape the broadcasts, chop out the chaff, and send you the final cut, that'd be a clear-cut case of a copyright infringing unauthorized derivative work.

        However, their actual implementation, as best I've been able to tell, doesn't modify the copyrighted source material at all, it just adds specific automated behavior to the playback device. If that is 'copyright infringement' then virtually anything a playback device might choose to get fancy about is subject to the veto of team content. Automatic volume reduction on your music when you get a phone call? Sure. Replaygain volume normalization? Sure. Stretching or letterboxing to put 4:3 on 16:9 or vice-versa? Why certainly. Applying a custom CSS stylesheet to a website against the operator's wishes? You bet.

        Yes, it may well happen to be true that OTA broadcasts aren't going to be helped by easy commercial skipping; but something isn't 'copyright infringement' merely because it happens to be bad for the checkbooks of people who hold copyrights. It also has to, y'know, infringe. In this case, if the definition of 'infringement' is stretched far enough to save our poor, beleaguered, broadcasters it is stretched far enough to allow near-total control over any device that handles rendering of copyrighted material, which is virtually anything.

        Compared to that, letting all of broadcast TV burn looks like a fantastic idea, even if you are otherwise sympathetic to it...
    • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:30PM (#40105675) Homepage Journal
      Just ask ReplayTV how well this works out in the end.
    • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:38PM (#40105751)

      Also, lets not forget about Apple's patent on software that would basically freeze our device unless we were demonstrably watching the ads they serve to us [nytimes.com], making us answer questions about products featured and even using the camera to make sure that our eyes are focused on the screen.

      How long will it be before we see something similar on anything with a front facing camera? I wonder if Microsoft has plans to build this into their next Kinect? This is where these assholes are going with this, and then they'll bitch and complain when even more people just pirate their shit. God, how ridiculous...

    • Obviously it's silly to sue someone over this tech, however, if users reduce the value of advertising on television by not watching them then these lost revs will have to be made up elsewhere. And that will likely translate to more direct costs to the user.
      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:02PM (#40105889)

        Be real, who watches ads? Even when watching the few shows I watch religiously every week, where my eyes are glued to the screen during the show, I hardly notice the ads, let alone could tell you which ads I just saw or even come up with some kind of detail, or what product they tried to cram down my throat.

        And I'm hardly special in this way. Try it. Go watch TV with your pals, don't tell them before and then, after the show, ask them to come up with five commercial they just saw and offer them 10 bucks if they succeed.

        I betcha you won't spend a dime on this experiment.

        • by ieatcookies ( 1490517 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:23PM (#40106031)
          I was actually quite surprised recently when I re-order cable television to watch the Canucks lose in the first round of the playoffs.. I was surprised at all the products, movies, and television that I had no idea about until I saw commercials on tv for the first time in two years. Maybe I'm unique, but I doubt that. I think commericals and advertisements have more effect on us than most people are willing to admit. I'll go out on a limb and say that advertising via commericals on television still works for companies (especially clever and memorable ones such as Coke or Apple)
  • Shocking. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:15PM (#40105567)

    Whoever didn't see this coming.... can I have your job?

    That said... "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem." *facepalm* The Internet is SUPPOSED to destroy ecosystems built on artificial scarcity. Free markets and black swans are a bitch, aren't they?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's funny how the network that claims full support of a free market is filing a lawsuit against the products of a free market.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by demonlapin ( 527802 )
      Considering that ReplayTV did this (and died for it) ten years ago, it's definitely not new ground.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but can Disk be considered a part of the "broadcast television ecosystem"? Don't they have subscribers who pay for the service? Making it more like cable, and therefore not broadcast (at least by my definition of the term)?
    • Free markets and black swans are a bitch, aren't they?

      The "rich and powerful" are all for free markets, as long as they don't interfere with their own profits or (usually outdated) business models.

  • by DubThree ( 1963844 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:18PM (#40105577)
    Fox has filed suit against all electronics manufacturers that have installed a fast-forward function on digital media playing device. Audio cassette manufacturers must remove fast-forward and rewind capabilities because users could skip a recorded radio broadcast commercial by flipping the tape, rewinding, then flipping the tape again.
    • by Endo13 ( 1000782 )

      The difference is with fast-forward you still see snippets of the ads, and sometimes people will stop fast-forwarding to go back and look at an add that caught their interest. My former roommate did this way too often.

      I can see why Fox is doing this, and they're right about it destroying their TV ecosystem. But I don't care, and I hope they lose.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:18PM (#40105579) Homepage Journal

    Fox claims that giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on recorded television shows demonstrates the "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem."

    Good! Let's tear down that century-old ecosystem, including the business models of those leeches. They're dying anyway. Let's start over from scratch and figure out how we can do it again, this time in ways that don't require stunting technological innovation.

  • Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:18PM (#40105583)
    blah blah blah ... social contracts ... blah blah blah ... violating copyright ... blah blah blah

    Cry me a river. If they stopped violating the spirit of the rules that were meant to keep a certain amount of content in a given unit of time for a show by calling their ads for their other shows on the their networks content instead of ads, I might not be so upset. Right now there are so many ads that it seems like we get only fifteen minutes of actual programming in a half-hour show. If they will require the ads, I will simply cut back even further on my TV watching.

    As for copyright, I don't see any copyright issue. The user is choosing to ignore the portion they do not wish to see, if the commercials are even considered part of the same program by copyright. Which, last I thought, were not.
  • by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:20PM (#40105593)
    Not watching commercials is NOT violation of copyright.
    • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:36PM (#40105729) Journal

      This is actually a case where that Heinlein quote applies perfectly, because the situation is literally the same - a company coming to court and complaining that someone else breaks their business model through innovation.

      "There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

      • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:37PM (#40106101) Homepage Journal

        I think Heinlein was an optimist. The reality is that they don't think the government is charged with guaranteeing their profits, they simply think (correctly) that they can abuse the government to do so.

        • I don't think it's going to fly in this case. It's blatantly obvious that this is not copyright infringement to skip ads. At most, they could have claimed that DVR itself facilitates copyright infringement, but that was settled way back in VHS era.

          They can certainly abuse the government, but that means new laws - i.e. buying out the legislature.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your logic is destroying my business model. Stop it or i will sue.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:40PM (#40105765) Homepage

      Actually recording a broadcast and then editing it to remove undesirable content prior to displaying it and doing so upon a 'commercial' basis, is a violation of copyright. Right now it is possible to create software that can dip into content and swap out product placements and replace them with competitors products ie replace all the cans of coke and coke advertisements in the actual content and replace them with cans of pepsi and pepsi advertisements. It would likely be cheaper for companies to take content and edit in their product placements as they edit out competitors product placements and surreptitiously distribute the edited content than to pay for product placements.

      • They're going to the Supreme Court claiming that assemblage of a program with interspersed commercials is a creative work?

        Lemme grab my popcorn.

      • Right now it is possible to create software that can dip into content and swap out product placements and replace them with competitors products

        Really, really badly. I watched a Region 4 DVD copy of Demolition Man recently, and almost fell out of my chair laughing. Apparently, Pizza Hut had managed to pony up more cash, or maybe it was just because Taco Bell doesn't have franchises here in Australia, but apparently the Italians beat the Mexicans in the franchise war in this edition. They'd digitally replaced all the signage, and, in true spaghetti-western fashion, had over-dubbed the change in voice without adjusting the lip-sync. It's a good thing

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:56PM (#40105839)

      Not watching commercials is NOT violation of copyright.

      Although...it may be a copyright violation to alter a content that you don't have the right on and was distributed by the others.

      To get around, I'd imagine that as long as the recorder stores everything (but allows the user to pick a watching mode in which the ads are skipped) should not be a copyright violation. It would be like a news agent selling a magazine, "enhanced" by himself with an extra list of bookmarks that allows the reader to skip over ads pages.

      • by TexVex ( 669445 )

        as long as the recorder stores everything

        I don't see how it could be a violation of copyright to fail to copy certain portions of a work, or even to only selectively play back portions of a work. Never mind that the program and the commercials are separate works.

        At best, this could be a violation of the contract between Dish and its content providers and advertisers. Moot to the point of this thread: it is a civil matter that has jack to do with copyright.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:22PM (#40105609)

    Like all the other attempts to stop technological progress with lawsuits. If they rally manage to squash this one instance, people will just go back to downloading clean recordings again.

    Maybe, just maybe, they will learn that they can offer clean recordings themselves, reasonably priced, DRM-free, immediately after broadcast and worldwide. The only way to survive against filesharing is to have a better offering first. Well, some TV makers will get it and some will die. Quite the usual progress whenever a new technology disrupts old and ancient business models.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:26PM (#40105639) Homepage Journal

    ...why not just forbid Dish from carrying their channel?

    (Oh, yes, because they can't. Dish's HD DVRs can take an ATSC signal and record from that, and any home that's capable of erecting a satellite dish can erect a normal UHF/VHF antenna too. That's one thing I really rather like about Dish Network.)

    Still, they could try, and then Dish subscribers - who don't want to erect an additional antenna - would be denied access to great shows like House, 24, Dollhouse, Terminator: Sarach Connor Chronicles, Firefly, Dark Angel... {insert rest of updated Family Guy skit here}

  • Legal Grounds (Score:5, Informative)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:27PM (#40105655) Journal

    I understand why Fox and Friends wouldn't like this kind of feature, but what kind of legal ground do they have here? They don't own copyrights on the advertising (well, most of it anyway), and the content they do own (the TV shows) aren't being modified or changed by Dish.

    The simple fact that's being reiterated over and over by tech such as commercial-skip and AdBlock is that advertising as a sustainable revenue model is on the way out. At the same time people have started rejecting being shoehorned into the time slots chosen by networks -- most people are willing to pay for their entertainment, but they want to watch it on their own terms, and this also isn't conducive to effective advertising. The sooner content providers realize this, the better off they'll be. The advertising-sponsored entertainment (TV and the Internet primarily) honeymoon is just about over.

    Unfortunately for consumers it will probably get worse before it gets better because studios and actors are too accustomed to their over-inflated multi-million dollar salaries. Advertising will become more invasive as it clings for life, and all sorts of litigation will spring up before it finally falls apart. Some forms will always have a place in entertainment (product placement, for example), but eventually consumers will start simply paying for what content they want to consume.

    • Well, can you even say anything is being modified at all? The commercials are still there but the Hopper just skips past them almost instantly. If you rewind, you see the commercials. The signal itself isn't modified at all.
  • by Pokey.Clyde ( 1322667 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:28PM (#40105661)
    in the middle. Fox backs of from their idiotic lawsuit, and Dish agrees to quit showing those stupid "Tha hoppa!" commercials.
  • by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:30PM (#40105673) Homepage

    This happened a number of years ago when ReplayTV offered a feature that automatically skipped commercials. A bunch of studios sued them. The result was that the new DVRs required the users to press a "scene skip" button on the remote to skip over the commercial break. ReplayTV was later bought by DirectTV.

  • Not just Fox (Score:5, Informative)

    by therealobsideus ( 1610557 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:33PM (#40105693)
    NBC and CBS have joined in as well. DISH has filed a suit themselves seeking a ruling to declare that the technology is not infringing on TV copyrights. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/dish-seeks-ruling-on-feature-that-skips-commercials/ [nytimes.com]
  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:46PM (#40105785)
    Is there anyway to skip the content and just watch commercials?
  • autohop doesnt just fast forward which is just time shifting which is a common service it also blacks out the screen which is a material alteration
    in the programming. Its also not just a "technological feature" its part of a paid satellite service which is essentially competing against broadcast networks with their own product..

  • by tipo159 ( 1151047 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:19PM (#40106011)

    1. You can't just rebroadcast a television signal, even if it is an OTA broadcast. That is part of the law and the NAB will remind you of it if you ever think about doing it. Rebroadcasting it would be a violation of US copyright law. You have to get a license from the content provider to broadcast. (Lots of cases in US copyright law revolve around whether some action qualifies as 'broadcasting'.)

    2. Dish has legal agreements with Fox (and the other networks) to rebroadcast their programming. I have a hard time believing that Dish's actions here aren't a violation of those agreements and pulled the plug. That does raise the question of why haven't they.

    3. Networks and individual stations routinely get in fights with Dish and DirecTV and cut-off their service.

    You and I have an individual right to FF over the commercials. As a rebroadcaster of someone else's content stream, Dish has legal obligations that you and I don't have.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @10:47PM (#40106149)
    Two nights ago, I watched Star Trek (the 2009 movie) on FX. They honest to God had 5 minutes of movie, then at least 5 minutes of commercials. Then repeat. I almost enjoyed the movie, but the commercials made it almost unwatchable.

    I fear this is what the plan is for the future.

    The really pathetic thing is that instead of a sensible ratio of programming to advertisements, the networks - to include the cable only channels - are taking a dual approach. A 50/50 mix on television, un-skippable ads and threats on DVD.

    Is there any wonder that people pirate movies? Lessee, it's easier, you don't have a hour and a half movie taking three hours, don't have to listen to mind boggling stupid commercials. And I've taken the alternate route. I don't watch many movies at all any more. Which means I do not see the advertising.

    If Television is attempting suicide, it's working as as far as I am concerned.

    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )

      I was watching Iron Man on TV not too long ago and saw a similar thing - but even better they put all these "DVD extras" in the middle to give away the next scene and explain the previous one - entirely ruining the story of the movie.

      The best part was when they spent a while explaining how a scene was done and how the actors felt, then had to cut the scene to save time on TV.

      Breaking the movie up that much just makes it not an enjoyable experience.

  • by TopSpin ( 753 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @12:18AM (#40106529) Journal

    destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem

    Prepare to engage the Concern Drive!



    kLanK! Whirrrrrr....


    Oh dear. I appear to be unconcerned about the, um, "fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem." Even my broadcast television based parody has ironically failed to create any detectable degree of concern.

    Enjoy your pay cut.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.