Time-Shifting Costing Networks $600 Million
Advertising Age reports that the 40 percent of viewers who record their shows and time shift have cost the networks an estimated $300 million this year and perhaps as much as
$600 million next year. The ratings industry is working on technologies to allow tracking of viewer habits down to the minute, even the second, to more accurately gauge which commercials are being seen and thus able to be charged for.
One wonders how long the decades-old model of programming paid for by advertising can survive. The advent of television recording devices and satellite radio have made us are less tolerant of the interruption of commercials. It seems to me that the networks will have to get more invasive in their advertising modes, which will alienate their customers further, or move to some sort of fee for service model.