Comcast disables commercial fast-forwarding on new video on demand content

First, the good news: Time Warner will start offering content from TBS, TNT, and others via Comcast’s video on demand service. The bad news: you gotta watch the commercials. 

As per Businessweek’s reporting:

Time Warner announced this week that it will start offering complete seasons of some of its shows on Comcast’s Xfinity TV and digital VOD platforms. That will give customers greater access to even more programming, but they’ll also have to watch more advertising, because fast-forwarding will be disabled. And the advertising will feature dynamic ad insertion, so advertisers can be assured their commercials are fresh.

The change, of course, comes from the Nielsen ratings system, which just started measuring ratings including video on demand services. And, conversely, if a network knows just how many people view their content, they can know just how much to charge an advertiser for air time. The advertisers, thanks to the whole “no fast-forwarding” thing, can be assured their ads are being seen.

So, essentially: Comcast insists that you watch these fine advertisements. So much so that you cannot skip through them through digital means. You can, to our knowledge, still get up and grab a snack or hit the restroom during the commercial break. 

But, knowing Comcast, that privilege is on a timeline, too. Enjoy your freedom while you can.