It’s not you. Commercial breaks are getting longer

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December 21, 2016 by Paul Dughi

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The NFL thinks if it cuts out commercial breaks and down time, it may help with struggling ratings this year.  Probably.  DVR’s, Hulu, and Netflix have turned a lot of people into binge watchers and it’s made it tougher to go from that experience to sitting through commercial pods – especially long ones.

And anyone that’s had to sit through those sometimes-more-than-five-minutes (I kid you not) of commercial clusters in some cable channels, knows that it can be painful.  It can be especially painful if you had to sit through the 10 minute (seriously, not kidding) break on SpikeTV.

I sell TV advertising.  I get the need.  It’s what allows us to pay the bills and bring free TV.  It’s what allows the sports channels to pay the rights fees so you can watch the game in the comfort of your home.  The networks have talked about shorter break pods and fewer commercials, but Nielsen data shows the opposite is happening.

Brian Weiser of Pivotal Research analyzed the Nielsen data and determined this November, the amount of commercials in TV network programming actually grew from 10.7 minutes last year to 10.9 minutes this year.

By the way, the longest commercial ever run on television?  13 hours (still not kidding).  A stunt intended to go viral, Arby’s ran 13 hours on a single TV station, showing a shot of its brisket being slow-roasted before being made into a sandwich.

 

 

 

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