Phillips have taken out a patent on "Apparatus and method for preventing switching from a channel during an advertisement display."
The abstract reads:
"An apparatus (270) and method is disclosed for preventing a viewer from switching from a channel when an advertisement is being displayed on the channel. The apparatus (270) and method comprises an advertisement controller (270) in a video playback device (150) that (1) prevents a viewer of a direct (non-recorded) broadcast from switching channels when an advertisement is displayed, and (2) prevents a viewer of a recorded program from fast forwarding the recorded program in order to skip past advertisements that were recorded with the program. A viewer may either watch the advertisements or pay a fee in order to be able to change channels or fast forward when the advertisements are being displayed."
Jamie Kellner rides again. For those who don't remember, Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting said Ad skips are "theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming."
Thanks to Glyn Wintle at ORG for the pointer.