SkyBOX: Billions & Billions

Seven billion! Yikes! Break out the champagne and/or suicide kit, depending on which side of the multiplatform biz you're watching from

That seven billion is, of course, the latest Comcastical pronouncement as the cable giant seeks to get maximum mileage by blowing its own VOD horn. Seven billion VOD views since 2003 ... that's what the giant is saying and it certainly sounds impressive. So are the one billion hours of VOD programming viewed in the same time period.

Of course a little simple math tells us that the average VOD view time for the Comcastical one is just under nine minutes per view. (8.57143 minutes to be a bit more precise.) And yea, we know that likely means one minute here, 2 hours there and so on. But 8.57143 minutes? What'd'ya suppose they're watching?

This isn't to say that VOD is not a powerful subscriber tool. Obviously it is as both DISH and now DIRECTV are seeking to emulate it. So the real question is: How many of those much touted VOD views are for the same programming? Could you put on five really popular TV shows and a handful of movies and please, say, 70 percent of the VOD viewers?

There's the real question. We know some folks who have the answers but they're sworn to secrecy and such. So we'll just have to wait and see if DISH and DIRECTV get anything like those 8.57143 minutes from their VOD set-ups.