So last week, I decided to watch Hell’s Kitchen through Comcast’s On Demand service, since I didn’t feel like going in the bedroom where I had it DVR’d. When the first commercial break came, I reached for the remote and hit the FF button. Instead of fast forwarding through the commercials, I got a symbol like this:

That’s a new one. For whatever reason, Comcast was preventing me from fast forwarding through the commercials. Too lazy to go into the other room, I decided to just deal with the commercials.

What a mistake! In a 2-hour episode of Hell’s Kitchen, there are about 40 minutes worth of commercials. I figured the VOD commercials would be short like the ones on Hulu are. But these were painful 3-4 minute commercials. It really sucked.

There are tons of people complaining about this on Comcast’s forums, and this is their official response on the situation:

The ad models in the free VOD vary by network and sometimes by show, with some of the content fast-forward disabled and others providing full trick mode, according to Jenckes. CBS and NBC shows have fast-forward enabled, while for some ABC and Fox shows fast forward is disabled.

Later in the week, my girl wanted to watch Bachelor Pad through On Demand. ABC also disables Fast Forwarding, but they handle their commercials differently from FOX. They show you the SAME DAMN COMMERCIAL OVER AND OVER AGAIN for two hours! I saw the trailer for The Help over a dozen times.

C’mon ABC, it’s bad enough I’m forced to watch Bachelor Pad, can’t you at least mix it up with some different commercials?

It just goes to show you that the networks just don’t get it. Stick a 30 second commercial, or some sort of rollover on the screen, and people would be fine with it. But drive them crazy, and they won’t watch your shows on VOD anymore. Or maybe at all.

What happens when my DVR cuts off the last few minutes of a show thanks to a delayed start? I have to let my VOD show run for 1:57 mins unattended so I can see those last 3 minutes I missed?

Guess no one thought of that scenario..


Tags: , , , , , ,