Counterdisintermediation, in an attempt to remain relevant

A famous character once opined, Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. The executives at ABC are determined to prove that axiom by launching a video-on-demand product that does not include the ability to skip the commercials.

But those of us who think that we, the viewers, are ABC’s customers are sadly mistaken. We are not. The advertisers are. Our interests and those of the advertisers conflict, or appear to. We want to watch a 20 minute show in 20 minutes, not 30. The advertisers want us to buy their products. The broadcasters want us to watch the commercials, since that’s time they sold to the advertisers. The means which ABC, and other broadcasters, tend to take to resolve this ostensible conflict demonstrate that they are entirely concerned with the desires of their advertising customers — and not with those of the audience.

They have not realized that there is no conflict between our desires and those of the advertisers, merely that the broadcast product being sold to the advertisers is no longer as valuable.

Not the TiVo!

DirecTV is effectively removing the impediment to my changing video providers.

“We’ll support our existing TiVo customers,” a spokesman for DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV operator said. “But our core initiatives and new customer acquisition will focus on our new DVR.”

I mentioned this before, but I’m a TiVo customer now, even though a second-class one. I don’t care who feeds my Idiot Box, but I love my TiVo.