Honey, let’s skip the ad

Watching TV is no longer a simple activity as it was about 15 years ago. Some may argue this is good, others may want the idiot box out of the house. Nonetheless, everyone’s hooked. With the IPL taking shape, domestic fights abound. One of Indian television’s holy trinity: the K serials (aka Saas-Bahu serial killers) have been challenged by none other than cricket; perhaps the more powerful of the trinity (the third would be a toss up between reality shows and movies). And cricket is winning. But that hasn’t brought back peace on the home front.

During a break (no matter what you’re watching), switching to the other is a given. But then, you never know when the break ended. So how can you know when to jump back? Last year, the wife and I were desperate for a Tata-Sky connection. Our building wouldn’t allow one but soon, better sense prevailed and the building got a common dish reducing our cost in the bargain. Now why were we desperate, you wonder. It was for the EPG or the electronic program guide. What this allows you to do (for those who aren’t aware yet) is select shows you want to see and at the start time, the channel will automatically start. It is frustrating when that happens especially when you are praying that Sanath Jayasuriya collects the ball to push the match into the bowl-out. Alas, you miss the dropped throw and have to rely on reports from here and there.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a ‘break-guide’? Most TV channels do have scheduled ad breaks (except probably in case of live programming) and it wouldn’t be tough to have these show up in the EPG either… maybe I would choose to watch some ads. And that itself could be fantastic feedback for a product/ad, eh? But I digress. The point I am trying to make here is that domestic peace and calm can be restored in our nation with the simple introduction of the Ad Guide through all EPGs on DTH. And no, I am not writing a TV abbreviation guide!

Imagine being able to skip to another show just as a break begins and to another while avoiding the ads entirely on one only to return just in time as the signature tune resumes the show. Everyone is happy. Except maybe the advertisers and TV channels. And that’s where the whole concept may fall flat. I am not saying it is impossible. Much like the political scenario, this requires much will rather than skill. The skill is aplenty. But who will do it? At least in the interest of the nation. Or of rising divorces!



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