Nearly 20 minutes of a 60 minute TV program are commercials

Nearly 20 minutes of a 60 minute TV program are commercials

Photo by Dan Rockwell
Photo by Dan Rockwell

This fact boggles my mind:

Nearly 20 minutes of almost every hour of TV programming is commercials.

Put another way:

Nearly a third of my TV viewing time is commercials.

It drives me away from network and cable television programming and toward pay sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

It’s not that the advertisers sponsoring these programs don’t deserve the money.

The advertisers simply don’t deserve so much of my time.

I’d be happy to watch 2 minutes of commercials every 15-20 minutes, but 5-6 minutes is just too much! I won’t tolerate it! I’ll find ways around it…and I have.

My work around for network TV is simple. I use a Channel Master DVR connected to a digital TV antenna. Add an optional external hard drive, and now I have a Tivo-like experience where I can automatically record loads of network programming and fast forward through commercials.

It cost money for me to set this up. And it costs programmers advertising revenue when I fast forward through commercials. But I wouldn’t have been motivated to spend the money to fast forward through commercials if the programming contained less commercials-per-hour. As the commercials-per-hour increased, I became more and more frustrated with my TV viewing experience–frustrated enough to find this work around. So I’d say the networks have driven me to this.

I realize this is ultimately a lose-lose situation. If programmers can’t get ad revenue, they can’t continue to produce programming. But one solution is simple: reduce the commercials-per-hour ratio. If networks do that, I’ll be less inclined to circumvent their commercials.

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