When did they start inserting ads into on-demand movies?

Emilyrose_lIn my household, a snow day has nothing to do with parkas, mittens, or zooming uncontrollably down a hill while trying to remember what the cranky skiing instructor meant when he barked instructions about how to "wedge" earlier in the morning. (Also, dude never gave instructions for gracefully crashing into a thicket. Not cool.) Nope, instead, it’s all about staying in your pajamas, sipping English breakfast tea, and curling up on the couch for an all-day TV marathon.

Yesterday marked the first snow day of the season, and the highlight of my schedule was an on-demand viewing of 2005’s thoughtfully creepy The Exorcism of Emily Rose, starring the reliably fantastic Laura Linney. Only problem, the movie was interrupted at least a dozen times with alternating 30-second ad breaks for "NBA on TNT," and "Cold Case marathons on TNT." Now I understand, there’s no such thing as a "free" movie, but this was the first time in my personal experience that I’d seen an ad during an on-demand flick. And I have to say, I’d have preferred watching three-minute blocs of varied commercials (easier to fast-forward) to seeing the same two ads played over and over and over, every 15 or so minutes. Let’s just say Charles Barkley didn’t do much to sustain the mood of nameless dread being built throughout the film.

Anyhow, now I’m wondering three things: Do commercial interruptions of on-demand movies signify a new trend, or am I just lucky to not have experienced this phenomenon till yesterday? Also, would you say this trend it among the 10 most annoying things to happen to television this year? (Yes!) And finally, how totally underrated is The Exorcism of Emily Rose? Discuss!

addCredit(“The Exorcism of Emily Rose: Diyah Pera”)

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
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  • DailyBedpost

    Your version of a snow day sounds like pure heaven!

  • whimsey

    Also notice these annoyances on full episodes of shows online. Pretty irritating to see the same MCI commercial 8 times in one episode of a show.

  • jenl1625

    That stinks! I don’t pay for the premium channels (including on-demand) to watch ads!

  • GingerCat

    Wha . . . ? Was this an on-demand service of a premium channel, like HBO or Cinemax? I’ve watched movies on demand (the free ones, not the ones that cost extra) from both HBO and Max and have never had this happen. I sincerely hope it never does!

  • Green Gummi Bear

    Wait wait wait…I’ve never used on-demand before, that’s something you pay for, right? How could they possibly charge you THEN give you ads?!? I understand when HBO has time between it’s shows it can show all the “we have great shows!” ads it wants, that makes sense. But it doesn’t interupt a movie or a show, right? Because you pay for it. If this is true, add to the fact the annoyingness of an add (there are certain ones I’ll pay THEM not to show EVER again) then its time to demand money back. Charge or show ads, you can’t have both. If you didn’t pay for it…then I’ll shut up.

  • Hi

    I was excited about On Demand until I actually started using it. It has a terrible menu system and the majority of the movies are in full screen which sucks. It could be so great but it’s poorly done right now.

  • ADAM

    You must have been watching a TNT sponsored on demand movie. They have always had small breaks to advertise what is on that channel. I first noticed last year, and have since avoided on demand movies from that channel.

  • FrankErrington

    You made the mistake of waiting until the movie you wanted to watch was in the “Free” movies category. It probably belongs to TBS/TNT and thus the ads. You have to figure if you watch a movie on TBS and/or TNT you’ll see ads. If they provide the OnDemand movie, you’ll see ads there as well. Currently if you watch premium channel OnDemand movies there are no ads and likewise for the new release OnDemand movies for which you pay a fee. Hope that helps.

  • Anna

    You’ve been lucky. TNT does that all the time.

  • Anonymous

    I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose and it was sponsored by the Fear Channel (or whatever) – it had banners that popped up every 10 minutes and blocked out 1/4 of the frame and this little knife unsheathing noise (seriously, how does one describe that?) it was the most frustrating movie watching experience ever. Although the exorcism scene freaked me the eff out. I really did enjoy the movie.

  • Sick of Commercials

    I’ve seen the ads as well, mostly on the free on demands. They do not bother me nearly so much as the saturation campaigns ran by drug companies. I am so sick of turning on the TV when I’m taking a break and watching the same two gential wart/birth control commercials play during EVERY commercial break. Lunch is much improved by hearing nonstop about STDs while I’m eating.

  • Jessie

    I have that happen when I’m watching CBS shows on demand. I know that the networks have to sell ad-time, but it’s annoying when you are just trying to catch up on a show you missed.
    On another note, I hate the ads that the CW plays when you watch their shows on-line. It’s the same ads, played four-five times during the show, and it kicks my computer out of full-screen mode, so I have to stay by the computer and keep adjusting the screen.

  • Ryan

    I still haven’t seen that movie yet, though I want to even more now that I know Emily Rose is Deb from Dexter. As for the commercials, I’ve only watched BBC America On-Demand, and they just put a commercial or two on before the show starts. I guess I should be surprised there isn’t more.

  • DalGal

    I have only watched movies “On Demand” from HBO or the cable company. I have not gone to a specific channels on-demand. Now I know I won’t. Hate all the pop-up during regular TV and TNT is the worst!!
    Now for the movie…loved it! One of the best creepy movies I have ever seen. When her boyfriend wakes up and discovers her….well, I won’t spoil it but that is the image I associate with this movie. Very Under-rated movie!

  • Him

    YES! I love “The Excorcism of Emily Rose” and it is completely underrated. It is not at all another dumb horror movie. It’s an interesting film examining morality, faith, what drives us as humans, what scares us, and so much more.
    I’ve loved it since it came out and, of course, Laura Linney was perfect as usual.

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