My 2cents: why ad-skipping technology can ultimately cost the television consumer more money.

Author:Serafini, Dom

Recently, a U.S. federal court ruled in favor of TV ad-skipping services. This is unfortunate not only for the television industry, but also for consumers. Indeed, if there is a way to release stress and relieve depression, rather than using DVRs, PVRs, the Hopper, TiVo or other similar TV broadcast-killing hardware to skip commercials, viewers should set up the devices to skip TV programs and record commercials instead.


Nowadays TV shows--including sitcoms, news and documentaries--are a source of aggravation, causing anxiety and frustration. To the contrary, a good dose of happy-go-lucky TV spots will restore confidence, security and pleasantry.

Just imagine how uplifted you'd feel after watching McDonalds' He's Happy TV ad, compared to a breaking news story: "Russia's U.N. ambassador said that Russian experts determined that Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas and used it in a deadly attack outside Aleppo." Or how euphoric one might become after watching FIAT's Boob Job ad, versus being saddened by World Vision's documentary, The Tragedy of Child Labor about child slavery in India? What about the fulfilling Annie's Song commercial by versus the gory scenes of the series Masters of Horrors?

According to a study published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, commercial interruptions often enhance enjoyment of television, at least for younger viewers. The three authors of the study (professors from Berkeley, New York University and Carnegie Mellon), entitled "Enhancing Television-Viewing Experience Through Commercial Interruptions," wrote: "Consumers prefer to watch television programs without commercials. Yet, commercial interruptions can actually improve the television-viewing experience. Consumers' enjoyment diminishes over time. Commercial interruptions can disrupt this adaptation process and restore the intensity of consumers' enjoyment. Studies demonstrate that, although people preferred to avoid commercial interruptions, these interruptions actually made programs more enjoyable regardless of the quality of the commercial."

Then, if the federal judges feel more pedestrian than academic, they could always check the popularity of the TV ads during the Super Bowl (the championship game of American football), the year's most watched U.S. TV broadcast with over Ho million viewers....

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