Holy Hell what's up with all the 5 minute commercial breaks nowadays!?

I remember as a youth commercial breaks were around 2-3.5 minutes long. Now they are 5-6 minutes long. This really urks me. I can watch an hour long episode of LOST on my Tivo in around 30 minutes by fast forwarding thru all the commericals. And then you have the theatrical movies that they show on TV that are like an hour and 20 minutes long in the theater but they sometimes stretch them out to 2.5 hours long on TV!

What gives? Why is my cable bill so high when there is obviously a TON of advertising money floating around? Am I paying to watch shitty commercials?

Chuck Woolery “Be Back in 2 and 2”. Not anymore my friend. Not anymore…

British sky TV is the worst… you spend ten minutes trying to find a program that isn’t in adverts… you drift into a kind of medative state… then you jolt out…realising you’ve been watching adverts for three minutes. The bastards creep up on you sometimes. As a matter of principle I hate them. I hate the implication that I need bright colours and pretty ladies to help me decide what to buy.

Excuse please if this has been discussed on the Dope before (it’s that kind of topic), but have the networks considered synchronizing their commercial breaks to make channel flipping futile?

Or would the whole country just click the OFF button at once?

The advertisers don’t pay the cable company (except for company-run channels). They pay the networks.

As for the amount of ads, the FCC used to set a limit to the number of ads in an hour. During the Reagan administration, the limit was eliminated, saying the free market would take care of things. So the free market makes sure there are more and more ads on TV.

Surely this is a Pit-worthy thread…and I’m adding to it!

Not only are commercial breaks getting longer, they’re increasing repeating the same ads in a single break! I’m sorry, but I didn’t enjoy the Taco Bell “Good to go” ad the first time around, why are you showing it to me twice in the same commercial break??? GRRRAHHHRRAAAG!!!

I hate that, espispecially when they show them back to back :mad:

I hate that, especially when they show them back to back :mad:

Doh! :smack:

The other day, I was watching some early-afternoon program, and every commercial break was the same exact thing:

Commercial A
Commercial B
Commercial C
Commercial X
Commercial A

with only 2 or three commericals switching off as Commercial X from one break to the next.

I’ve also noticed that some shows or movies will not have a commercial for like the first 10-12 minutes…sometimes even longer. But then after that first long period of non-interruption they will have commercials once every 3-4 minutes!!

And the longest commercial break are always at the bottom of the hour. Sometimes there are 10 min of commercials…between :25 and :35 of the hour.

Also, I’ve noticed if we are flipping back and forth between 2 shows (for example, the baseball game on one channel and a movie on the other) 90% of the time they run commercials at the same time.


I’ve noticed that some stations have fewer breaks, but the ones they have are longer. I think this is a nice compromise. For example, on Adult Swim during Family Guy they have one break, right in the middle of the show, but it lasts for a good bit longer then the normal break.

Marketing studies show repeated ads stick in the memory better. And since the whole point of modern marketing is not to actually, y’know, sell the product but simply to get you to remember it, these repeated ads are becoming more common.

Can I get you a lozenge? New “Throaties” contain all natural ingredients, and have been proven in clinical studies to reduce irritation 72% better than an unnamed competitor. Plus they increase sexual potency. Throaties! New “Throaties” contain all natural ingredients, and have been proven in clinical studies to reduce irritation 72% better than an unnamed competitor. Plus they increase sexual potency. Throaties!

Well, Taco Bell doesn’t need to repeat any ads to remind me of their product. They gave me repeats of the shits sufficiently to achieve that goal.

Incidentally, the guys who produce and direct TV shows apparantly hate this. Basically, they set up their show so that there will be stopping points before each commercial break, so if the show is produced with commercial break layout A, and the network changes to B, suddenly the show’s commercials come in akward spots, sometimes in the middle of dialogue, etc. (this is more noticable when you watch movies on TV)

It’s also noticible when some stations have a show that’s been syndicated and cut out five minutes worth to get more ads. Rather than just made each ad break longer, they add more, and places they sohuld be they aren’t, and places they shouldn’t be, they are.

The best example I can think of is Angel on TNT. The producers actually set up great dramatic moments or commercials. Someone says/does something to make you go “wha?” and then you have to wait a few mins. to see what ahppens, but it fades to black…then fades right back in, usualyl repeating the last few seconds as well (cause lots of shows repeat some dialogue when coming back from a break.)

Commercial A shown top and tail at a break is known as a bookend, and can work if part of a story is shown first with the end of the story wrapped up at the end.

If you see the same commercial back to back is either a scheduling error or you’ve seen the network (TNT, Fox, ESPN, etc) run the spot followed by a local break, where by some fluke the same spot is scheduled by the local cable operator to be seen in their market (Comcast to be seen in Orlando, for example)

A spot for the same advertiser run back to back is known as a piggyback. What you’re seeing is two :15s or two :30s, usually different spots but for the same advertiser. (Enzyte does this.)

Don’t get me going on exclusivities that advertisers ask for certain shows, separation requirements, exclusivities required by the network or the shows…it gets to be quite the juggling act.

I’ve seen them do this with Law and Order, too.

I think the reason Adult Swim does this now si because it seems that most anime shows have just one commercial break stopping point in the middle of the show. AS just seems to have adopted that commercial scheduling for the rest of their programming, anime or not. Leads to some wonky stopping points in Family Guy and Futurama and such, but I do like that setup still.

It’s infuriating, all right. That’s why they invented the Mute button. Gives me time to doze in peace and quiet.

But with the TV muted, don’t you have to pay MORE attention (so as not to miss the show coming back on)?