TiVo, Comcast to distribute updated unwatched ads

Tivo_3Here’s another item for the list of silly ideas to make TiVo advertising-friendly: it and Comcast, which announced a partnership last month, are working on a system to update the commercials in already-recorded TiVo programming. Is this so people who are catching up on already-recorded shows can now fast-forward through newer commercials? The two companies will also try to make the inserted ads more relevant to those viewing them, which sounds a bit more to the point. But not everyone who heard about the initiative, which was announced yesterday at the NCTA show in San Francisco, thought viewers would particularly care. This story in the Baltimore Sun quotes America Online chief Jonathan Miller as saying, “Advertising is going from being an involuntary service to being a voluntary service … that puts a high bar on relevance and other things." We’re with you Jonathan. Separately, we’re wondering if Google co-founder Larry Page, who was also at NCTA, really meant to be held up as the new official spokesperson for the cable modem. The home page of the conference attributes its quote of the day to Page, who purportedly said at Monday’s general session, “I just switched to a cable modem from DSL. And it’s much faster."

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor