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Advertising Everywhere: Comcast Broadband Trials Bring Fears Of Clutter To Web Video

One of the attractions online video has had for advertisers is the lack of clutter typically associated with broadcast and cable spots. But as Comcast’s TV Everywhere broadband trials start with CBS (NYSE: CBS) and more than a dozen cable networks, the “full load” of advertising that’s attached to offline programming could bring that problem online. As the WSJ points out, the shows in Comcast’s online trials will likely carry four times the ad load compared to most web video sites, such as Hulu.

eMarketer predicts that spending on online video ads will rise 42 percent next year to $1.5 billion — but for individual networks, it’s still going to be “digital dimes” for offline dollars, to borrow NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Zucker’s line about the business of web video versus TV.

So while networks are concerned about alienating web viewers who have turned to online to avoid the heavy rotation of ads, they also acknowledge that the high premiums they’re getting for their internet programming is not enough to sustain them. Speaking to the WSJ, Andy Heller, vice chairman of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, warns: “We spend billions of dollars buying and making these programs. And if we give this stuff to consumers for free with limited ads, it’ll go away.”

Of course, the worries are largely eased at the moment by the fact that online video ads can’t be skipped. But it’s hard to believe that just as pop-up blockers came into existence, there won’t come a time when viewers can bypass online video ads as well.

7 Responses to “Advertising Everywhere: Comcast Broadband Trials Bring Fears Of Clutter To Web Video”

  1. As a DISH employee what Comcast is trying to get out is wonderful but DISH is doing something big. Dish has the TV everywhere which means you can watch all your favorite shows on LIVE TV! You don’t have to record than watch the show on your phone later. You can simply watch the show right then and there and not have to wait! On a boring bus, train, or even the hospital and need a little entertainment all you need is the Sling adapter and you can turn on LIVE TV on your phone or a laptop!

  2. @Ads=Affordable Content:
    Unless I am sadly mistaken, I already pay a huge amount of money to Comcast every month for all of the cable channels. With as many commercials as are shown during shows, the price of my bill should be much lower. It is also the same with the movie theater. Tickets have tripled in price over the past 15 years and now they have 30 minutes of commercials before the movie.

    Where will this end? Will they start showing commercials during movies at the theater along with ads at the top, bottom and sides?

    As it is, there are certain broadcast channels that have more commercials than program. Just last night I was noticing a channel that was playing 5 minutes of commercials for 4 minutes of program.

  3. marcuscrassus

    Here's the deal, I'm all about affordable content, but the problem is the 'content' is ALL CRAP now, so I don't care if it's affordable, I still won't watch it. In fact I"ve been without TV at my house for 18 months now and we don't miss it. What's on that is to miss? It's all sad reality shows and junk.

  4. Ads=Affordable Content

    Cletus – what about this don't you get? You will have to pay HBO like subscriptions fees of $10 per month for each channel you want to watch without ads.

    Are you ready to pay for every single piece of content you consume or would you like to have some it heavily subsidized by advertisers?

    Consumers do not want to pay the bill of funding TV program development directly. So watch your ads, and know that next time you buy a product that was advertised on TV it is the competition created by advertising that helped keep control the cost of that product, and that the advertiser paid for the cliff hanger ending.

  5. Cletus

    What about this don't you guys get? I don't want commercials. If you put commercials in you broadcasts I'll be looking for service elsewhere. I never cease to be amazed you don't understand that 100% of nothing is nothing.