On-demand: Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal has a page-one story (it requires a subscription, but I predict it will be a free feature by mid-day tomorrow) about CBS and NBC striking deals for 99¢ on-demand replays of certain programs on Comcast (CBS) and DirectTV (NBC).


“Two big TV networks, CBS and NBC, struck deals with cable and satellite providers allowing their viewers to watch popular shows anytime they want, the latest sign of how quickly technology is upending viewing habits and reshaping the industry’s longtime model.”

I am a reluctant Comcast Digital subscriber, but it took six months and four technicians to figure out why I couldn’t access the on-demand feature. The fourth technician was there to fix something else but wouldn’t leave until he figured it out — he took it as a personal challenge. (It had something to do with a bad wire coming from the street to my house).

Perhaps, on a rare ocassion I can see myself using the 99¢ option, but when I read the news I wondered why I’d pay 99¢ for something I could easily grab with the built-in DVR feature on my cable box.

Then I read this quote from the WSJ article:

“Of Comcast’s more than 21 million subscribers, 9.4 million have digital service, most of whom can get video on demand. But only 1.1 million have DVRs.”

Only one-out-of 20 Comcast subscribers have DVRs? Only 5%?

Other than the Internet, I can’t think of a technology that has changed my media habits more than a DVR. I didn’t realize I was so out-there-on-the-edge.

One thought on “On-demand

  1. I too find those numbers strange. Frankly I wouldn’t be plunking down the change for the digital cable EXCEPT that that’s how you get the DVR w/ Comcast. Whom I hate. I always have to add that; it’s just kind of instinctive.

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