We’re all used to a service like Hulu tossing in a new ad on repeat viewings, but what if this practice inhabited your cable DVR as well? According to The Consumerist, Comcast is looking into doing the same thing with the older shows on your DVR, reselling the ad space after the Nielsen window has expired.
Most previously aired episodes of a show are not available on-demand from the network because the network rarely owns the full rights to the show and advertisers have not exactly gone gaga for paying to advertise on old shows. But Comcast figures if it can insert the same ads running on this week’s Blacklist into previous episodes of the show, then advertisers can reach the millions of people who are catching up on old programming. And if advertisers are willing to pay, then the networks will pay for the on-demand rights for full seasons of shows.
Sounds like another volley in Comcast’s war on Netflix hogging all their bandwidth, and more importantly taking away customer eyeballs in a variety of ways. If Comcast has all the episodes all the time, then not only do they keep people watching their cable, but they get to make more revenue from the ads that are inserted. Of course, subsidiary Universal is no stranger to these kinds of tactics, their Blu-ray discs have been “loading fresh trailers from the Internet” for years. Should the networks decide to grab the off-network rights to the shows they finance, they could be a game changer in more ways than one.