Time-Warner Cable has initiated talks with the big 4 TV networks about a on-demand TV service — but only for the top-rated shows.
It’s an interesting twist: while previous on-demand concepts have concentrated on categories of shows(sports, porn) or specific shows themselves (like HBO’s or Showtime’s on-demand services) — this is the first one with a capability of on a regular basis, based upon what what Neilsen has decided that various pluralities of the American Public deem worth watching.
Call it The Watercooler Shows On-Demand service.
There a ton of roadblocks to be overcome: rights, logistics and even the simple fact that even the most popular show on TV is ignored by the vast majority of people.
But, to me, the big one is this: why stop with the Top 20? If the capacity is there, why not make everything available all of the time? Sure, this is a good start, and when my stupid Scientific Atlantic HD-DVR glitches out and I miss Lost, and I don’t want to download it, this would be great. But what happens when it glitches out and I miss Veronica Mars? Not only that is not at Top 20 rated show (you eeeediots!), it isn’t even on a network covered by this proposal.
Here’s the mantra: release it now, everywhere. Let me decide how when and where I want to watch it. And I will gladly pay you. Anything else is half-measures.
Don’t worry, Jim, it really is worse than you think. Because on-demand is sort of like “free with purchase”. You only get your on demand programming for a limited period of time. We are a long way from truly on demand programming. I say get a second or third TiVo and learn to love the DVR.