What’s Up With FX’s 7-Day Delay To On Demand Or Person Of Interest Absence?

by on December 4, 2012

in Entertainment

Brusimm.com: Entertainment news and opinionI don’t know about you but I hate the 7-day delay of FX networks broadcast shows to Comcast’s On-Demand (VoD) service.  I only have Comcast to compare to, so I am not sure if other VoD services suffer the same fate.  Plus, I seriously hate how Person of Interest does not show up on VoD.  What’s up with all that?

To be honest, at least FX shows are on VoD, unlike the total blockage of Person of Interest not being allowed to air anywhere except in repeats later in the season.

[Where's Person of Interest on my On Demand Service?]

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Obviously there are ways around the FX 7-day VoD delay, but not everyone has a DVR or a surviving VCR to record shows.  Now true, FX tends to air encores of their shows, but usually they occur a few hours after the first airing.

If you want to grumble to someone, don’t blame Comcast (In this one case).  As Comcast puts it though,

“Some networks will re air shows during the week for you. It’s the networks decision when they will allow us to have shows available on demand and online for you to watch.

If it’s an option I would invest in a DVR that way you can record your shows and watch them when your ready.”

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What I suspect is the underlying cause of this delay or complete lack of re-airing on VoD is the root of all TV, and that’s networks trying to balance out ad dollars verse syndication rights.

Between 2009 and 2010, there was a 35% increase in viewership on VoD and this started presenting issues to the networks.  As more folk flocked to VoD, TV consumers noticed they could fast-forward through ads.  At least they used to be able to.  But then they wizened up to consumers discoveries.  More on that a bit later on in this piece.

For some shows, they aren’t on a Demand service because some contracts between providers did not account for the rights to do so.  AKA, in one example in my source article, (“Modern Family” is not on video-on-demand because ABC did not negotiate for those rights with the producing studio, 20th Century Television.)

television set Other “perspectives” of why shows aren’t or delayed to On Demand is because of a fear that a show will “become over-saturated and diminish traditional ad dollars, syndication rights and, to a lesser extent, DVD sales.

Business speak seems so hollow, and feels like it really does not matter what the television consumer thinks.

Ah… so if we cant’ catch it on TV, then will we buy the DVD?  I know folks who have shunned cable altogether and only buy shows on DVD.  Me, I can’t wait that long, because of the business model of my website.

Other delays, like from TNT, is claimed to “respect the classic TV viewing model.”  Or respect their money bags.

I can’t honestly blame them for these developments.  Yes, I’m frustrated like you are, but these advertising dollars are what make our favorite shows possible.  And these advertising dollars account for an income of around $10 billion, per season, to the television industry.

So they have to figure out how to capture our attentions for the advertisers so the adverts continue to toss money their way.

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[TV shows on Amazon]

ABC was always pretty good (relative term) as far as locking down VoD so TV consumers can’t FF through the same 2 to 3 ads at every break of a TV show.  Of late, NBC and FOX have also restricted FFing through ads.  The CW has joined the VoD crowd finally (at least on Comcast) and the first few days a show is there, you can’t FF, but the longer a show is on the service, apparently they lift the FF lock.  That is, if you can wait a few days.

As far as locked out fast-forwarding goes, my household looks at it this way:

We’re so squeezed for time that if we can’t FF, that sometimes eliminates shows from our viewing schedule.

OR

I love my mute button to kill the LOUD ads in my life.

And we love and fully support CBS, since, so far, they don’t lock us out of fast-forwarding.

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A TV Viewing Premise To Consider

My premise is something along the lines that if you like something enough, actually consider supporting what advertised products you see during your favorite shows.  (If possible.)  That helps everyone involved and we all win.

We get to keep our favorite shows and adverts continue to throw money at the production teams.

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So that satisfied my curiosity as to why I have to wait seven days to watch Sons of Anarchy or Justified from FX… if I don’t make other arrangements.  And even though it’s frustrating, I understand (but don’t appreciate) why Person of Interest is nowhere to be found on any On Demand service.

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Sources: [forums.comcast], [nytimes]

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I've been writing newsletters since 1999. Of late, I've been focusing on the entertainment consumer angle on mostly the sci-fi, fantasy and action genres of TV, movies and books.

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