Watching TV One Minute; Someone On TV Watching ME, The Next

This guy in a gym is talking: "So I go to sleep watching TV; when I wake up, it's watching me."

You may not think privacy issues are much of a concern for traditional media, but some people think otherwise.

Interactive TV promotions, video-on-demand services, TiVo prompts in the middle of commercials, addressable advertising -- these are all asking for our attention, and in theory giving us more entertainment value.

Though Internet and mobile platforms seem to garner more concerns over privacy, TV, for all its laid-back, lean-back media profile, still makes the average consumer wonder a bit -- even if he/she isn't exactly sure what is going on.

All this will only get worse as traditional TV services, Internet platforms, and new devices look to make our entertaining-needy lives easier. Future TV remotes will look more like our most portable mobile devices -- iPads, tablets, and perhaps bigger and smarter mobile phones.

In return for this convenience, those who are watching "The Good Wife" will be told there is an important "Hoarders" episodes to be seen or that Hyundai has a great deal on a turbo-powered car they can't live without, or there's some new natural pet food on the market, perfect for their lazy cats (redundant!)

No matter. Suspicious TV consumers will carefully eye TV marketers in this new age.

Seems that the guy in the gym was watching ESPN's "SportsCenter" at bedtime, and then drifted off. In the morning, the gym man, in a somewhat confused state, said the TV set was still on -- but not on the same station. (Ah. Hah!) No LeBron James-Dwayne Wade Miami Heat highlights.

"DirecTV was doing something," he said. (Or maybe it was because he was asleep, crushing the remote for 10 hours!) Instead, NBC's Al Roker "or some other guy was giving me the weather" -- in big full-screen view.

"Was he staring at you?" TV Watch asked. "Seems that way," says the guy. Yeah, but was he selling anything? "I don't think so."

Sneaky bastards.

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