ABC, ESPN And Cox Enter Deal To Test VOD With No Ad Skipping

ABC, ESPN and Cox have teamed up to test out a new video on-demand system that prevents viewers from skipping over commercials. ABC and Cox have signed a non-binding letter of intent, and the trial will take place this fall in Cox’s Orange County market.

Select ESPN on ABC college football games will be part of the trial, as well as some ABC shows. ABC’s broadband player is being syndicated to Cox for use on its website--the first time this has been done for a cable operator. Viewers will be able to watch full ad-supported episodes of prime-time shows online a day after they air on regular TV, but the fast-forward option will be disabled.

The test is expected to move into other markets eventually. The details of the advertising situation have not yet been worked out.