Disney Media Networks co-Chair Anne Sweeney talked up the controversial idea in a panel of program execs at the opening session of the National Cable Show this morning. Comcast and other cable operators hope to land series that might go to subscription streaming services such as Netflix by offering opportunities to broadcast them on VOD with ads, and the fast forward disabled. That would be “a very positive thing for the economics of television and television production,” Sweeney says. Even so, she says that with the burgeoning number of platforms for TV “The consumer has taken control and they’re not giving it back.” Programmers here say that they don’t fear time shifting. Showtime’s Matt Blank noted that with DVRs and other on-demand technologies “80% of the people who watch Nurse Jackie watch it after the premiere on Sunday night.” As much as 70% of the people who watch Homeland and Dexter also see episodes after they first air. “The more ways we can provide an on demand platform the more successful we’ll be.” AMC Networks chief Josh Sapan agreed, observing that VOD platforms have given his channels “a rich, rich, rich opportunity to expand the fan base and audience….The calendar is not quite the calendar anymore.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.