New cable network to build the commercials into the shows to thwart ad-skipping technology:
- a new cable network has elevated the practice beyond the occasional, building such anti-ad-zapping efforts directly into its business model.
The entire schedule of the new network, Fine Living, has been specifically set up to incorporate various forms of advertising that can foil the abilities of personal video recorders like TiVo and ReplayTV. Every show, for example, is available for sponsorship, while advertisers are collaborating in the making of certain one-minute segments that run in the middle of programs.
But though the network's charter advertisers like BMW, Prudential Financial and Viking Range are intrigued by the new commercial opportunities, it is unclear how much value they would place on them if they were not accompanied by traditional 30-second television ads.
Fine Living comes from Scripps Networks, the owner of other niche cable networks like the Food Network, Home & Garden Television and the Do It Yourself Network. Begun in March, the fledgling network moved into New York City late last month on Time Warner Cable and can now be seen in about 13.5 million homes, according to the network's president, Ken Solomon.
The network aims at viewers who are "real people into real things," Mr. Solomon said, "people who want to get the good stuff." Its programming is all original. One show, "Radical Sabbatical," is about people who drop out of careers to pursue their passions. "Breathing Room," shows how to personalize a home, and "World by Design," features artists, architects and designers.
The war between content providers and technology continues apace.