We heard from a couple of people questioning the emphasis in our coverage Tues of Comcast’s VOD deal with CBS. We were enamored that Comcast moved off its free VOD strategy. But CTAM pres Char Beales suggested the broadcasters’ shift in strategy is more important. "Comcast has always said they’d have a mix of free and paid On Demand and in fact have a robust Movies On Demand category," Beales emailed. "It seems more like the broadcast nets made a HUGE shift in their position by offering product OD." A cable programmer viewed the deal as a classic case of programming and operating heavies trying to define the VOD business model. Then there’s Jon Mandel’s take. The chmn of MediaCom (the ad buyer, not Rocco’s outfit) told TV Biz Report that MSOs should charge "99 cents with no ads" or "49 cents with two ads" or "29 cents with four ads. That way you figure out how to maximize your revenue. But to immediately jump to cutting yourself off from 2 revenue streams and leaving advertising out of it I think is either a bad business judgment or…a badly- written press release."

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