According to multiple sources, cable TV giant Comcast has “found a way to insert the same new ads that appear in every new episode of a show into all previous episodes of the show as well, over the same three-day period that C+3 measures”. So, if you’re binge viewing half a season of a TV show in order to catch up, you’d see the same commercials in the early episodes as you would in the most recent ones.

Video on demand makes up a large portion of TV watching. All Things D reports that 70% of Comcast subscribers now use Video On Demand.


Currently, advertisers will only pay for ads watched within 3 days of the original broadcast (C+3). According to The Wrap, Comcast says that only 40% of viewing takes place in the C+3 window. Networks would like to get that metric changed to C+7 (viewed within a week of airing). If the new system works as planned, and if the networks can convince sponsors to pay for the additional viewers, this will mean more revenue. “We can actually deliver higher ratings and higher commercial ratings,” said Rob Holmes, Comcast Cable’s vice president of advanced advertising.
Comcast is working on the new technology in partnership with Nielsen. Reuters says that the first phase of the testing will only involve broadcast network programming. Initially, Comcast will be using it on the network it owns, NBC, as well as ABC programming. It’ll be up to the networks to convince advertisers to pay for the later viewers.

– Pat Welsh