Lest one think that paying $0.99 for a TV program exempts a viewer from getting advertising, Comcast’s new VOD deal with NBC Universal will include spots, the company told me. This is the deal that involves on-demand access to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “The Office”, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, among other shows. (UPDATE: NBC network prime time shows are $0.99; Cable and late night shows are free.)
Will they be new, more targeted spots that use the data available about set-top-box users (or daypart data, or that type of thing)? Nope. Not yet. They’ll just be standard national spots, and they’ll apparently be skippable via fast-forwarding technology. Ah, the opportunities missed. I seem to recall a while back that Comcast (maybe in talks with TiVo) was discussing ways to insert fresher spots more suitable to the person (and the day, and the time of day) into on-demand programming. Guess that’ll be down the road.
My colleague, Rebecca Lieb, also notes the implications for net neutrality in this type of agreement. As folks like Comcast increasingly see the benefit of using their pipes for on-demand programming, there’s the potential for them to favor partners (a la NBC Universal) over non-partners, when it comes to speedy delivery of programming. Not a good thing.
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