Wednesday, February 4, 2009

House Passes Bill Pushing DTV Transition Date To June 12

Forget February 17. It never happened. The Digital Apocalypse was averted, for now; actually, for 4 months. Congress finally agreed to extending the date and now their is time to further educate, send out more DTV coupons, answer the questions, and reduce the confusion.

"Some stations have already indicated they are sticking with the Feb. 17 date. The FCC said it had heard from 276 stations to that effect, in addition to 143 stations that had already pulled the plug, and another 60 that said they planned to do so before Feb. 17. The FCC had pointed out that some of those 276 may change their minds once the date changed."

It's kinda like the band aid analogy - should we pull it off quickly and take the pain at once, or should we pull it off slowly to minimize the hurt and reduce the pain. As the pain may have proved too much for a portion of the country, this extension should help to ease the pain.

Study: Ads make watching TV more pleasurable

It's not that viewers like commercials, we just have a better experience when they are included in our shows. This unbiased study, according to the article, does not jibe with current habits. Was it taken during the Super Bowl? For me, that is the one time a year where the commercials are their most entertaining and buzzworthy. All other times, viewers are avoiding commercials like the plague, using their DVRs more than ever as well as VOD. In fact, I have found that the same shows on VOD have far less commercial intrusions than on live TV. This study needs more analysis to determine its validity.

"So if the findings are accurate, why don't people recognize that ads make TV more fun? The study authors have a few ideas, but no firm answers. One is that people don't study themselves -- you don't watch one show with ads, then the same show without ads, and compare the experience. Another aspect is that the ads act a point of contrast -- compared to the commercials, the programs showed study participants can seem more entertaining. And finally, the effect isn't universal -- sometimes ads do not make TV more enjoyable (for instance, if the tone of the ad completely clashes with the tone of the show), and those instances can skew viewers' impressions of ads in general."

The Super Bowl demonstrates that creativity can make ads enjoyable. Too much repetition can kill them. And too many ads between shows can break down the whole ad model.