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Time Warner: TV and Web ads should match

April 3, 2009

Viewers should see the same commercials during television shows on the Web as they do on traditional TV, Time Warner Cable Chief Operating Officer Landel Hobbs said.

At sites like Hulu and others, shows are seen with limited, short commercial breaks, compared with more frequent and lengthier groups of ads on TV. Time Warner Cable is leading a push to get cable networks to tie viewing of TV shows online to a video subscription associated with a cable, satellite or telephone provider.

Programmers might be more amenable to such an arrangement, Hobbs added, if they can assure advertisers that the same ads they run on TV will be viewed on the Web. Asked about a potential backlash from consumers accustomed to fewer ads during online streams, Hobbs expressed little concern. “What we find is that people don’t mind ads,” he said, “but they say give me the convenience of watching when and where I want to.”

Addressable advertising, which would target viewers’ interests specifically and show them only ads deemed relevant those interests, is part of the key to such a plan, he commented.

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