TiVo says networks won't run Bolt ads because of SkipMode

TiVo says no major broadcast or cable network will run commercials for its Bolt DVR because of its ad-skipping "SkipMode" feature.

SkipMode is enabled on the major broadcast networks and larger cable channels, enabling users to fly past entire ad breaks with the press of one button.

"Normally, when a company releases a new product, the company goes hard on advertising to ensure its product makes a splash," TiVo said in its post last week. "You see ads for Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and Netflix and Hulu. What do all these products and services have in common? They're trying to take viewers away from cable and network TV in order to watch content on the advertisers' respective streaming devices."

"And then there's TiVo. We're totally cool with viewers keeping their cable subscriptions alive and well," the company added. "But we also understand that commercial interruptions are one of the biggest annoyances for many cable-goers."

With 5.47 million of its 6.8 million customer relationships running through MSOs, TiVo walks a fine line, serving as both a consumer electronics and business-to-business brand.

However, it's entered controversial terrain with SkipMode — a dynamic experienced over the last several years by Dish Network, thanks to the AutoHop feature on its Hopper DVRs. 

The satellite operator has had to fight most of the major broadcast networks in federal court over this feature. However, it has proven to be an effective bargaining chip in program licensing negotiations.

For more:
- read this TiVo blog post
- read this Multichannel News story

Related articles:
TiVo debuts next-generation DVR, the Bolt; aggressively touts commercial-skipping tools, 4K capabilities
Dish and Fox finally settle Hopper suit