Message to cable operators from Robert Iger: VOD is too complicated. The Disney CEO said Thursday that cable TV companies need a Google-like search mechanism if VOD is to reach its full potential. Type in "rat DVD" at Google and you'll easily find Ratatouille, he said, but that's far from the case for VOD.
He said he's had better luck at Time Warner Cable's Web site when seeking programming than with a TV remote control: "And if I want to find something VOD-related, oh my God!"
Iger was the keynote speaker Thursday at the Sanford C. Bernstein Media Symposium, where he got laughs describing a typical VOD search: "I have to go to page 3, a-b-c-, yellow-green-purple, backspace three times, then I had to do a cartwheel and wash my face."
Iger also took a moment to criticize a recent New York Times
editorial—and others who complain of rising prices—that called for more government regulation in the cable television industry. What's usually missing from the debate, he said, is that programming has been progressively improving over the years. "When you provide more value, the price should go up," he said.
Iger, though, spent most of his time touting the Internet as "a great medium for entertainment," stressing that Disney must think about entertainment in nontraditional ways in order to fully benefit.
That's why Disney has delved into virtual worlds in a big way, purchasing Club Penguin, launching Pirates of the Caribbean Online, building DisneyFairies.com and, within about a year, creating an online virtual world focused on the Pixar-Disney movie Cars