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Program Time Vs. Ad Time

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by SayWhat?, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Given that there's no production overhead involved, it doesn't seem entirely necessary to flood the program with a full slate of American style advertising as if it were.

    From the standpoint of the BBC, this is probably gravy to some extent.
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The network that really chokes me out is AMC during Walking Dead. They play a long segment and follow it with a long stretch of commercials. The next show segment is relatively sort and it is followed by a short stretch of commercials.

    Its like feeding a parking meter after the fact.
     
  3. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    True. Just like The Good Wife running in Qatar would be gravy to their studio. But these factors are taken into account even well before a project is even green-lighted; if a project is not expected to do well overseas it has more of a problem getting on or staying on the air in the US, and vice versa.

    Also, how many commercials they insert is not based on how cheap something might or not might be to produce, it it based on whatever the traffic will bear. They want every nickel, regardless of how much of it is gravy.

    From the point of view of the networks (unless they also own the production house) and the stations, production overhead is already factored out of every show; that is already rolled into the cost per ep.

    But there is always overhead; getting that product to viewers is costly by anyone's yardstick. Satellites are easily 50 mil not including launch fees, fiber goes for thousands per month. Engineering support (thankfully) and infrastructure will always be needed. The only way around that it the internet, which has overhead of its own. But that currently does not have access to the multitude of eyeballs accessible by cable, sat, and OTA. At least for a few more years.
     
  4. coolman302003

    coolman302003 2014 NBA CHAMPIONS!

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  5. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Soon to be the norm, "We interrupt our regularly scheduled commercials so that we may bring you the following program". :nono:
     
  6. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    What a great resource; thanks for posting that.

    But two things jump out:

    1) The amount of commercial time is virtually unchanged for ~the last decade.

    2) The first entry, for 1952, is qualified as "time watching commercials".​
    That (#2) was not even true then, because folks could visit the loo, make a sandwich, walk the dog, etc. But it started to erode in the 60's with the advent of the Zenith Space Command, which was a remote control using little hammers that struck tuned metal cylinders and controlled which channel you were watching ultrasonically. We could drive the neighbors crazy by changing channels on their TV through their picture window.

    Obviously, that technology matured. Betamax changed everything in 1975, and Tivo changed it again in 1998. Now, the Hopper skips the commercials for you.

    So the "time watching commercials" has probably not increased at all. The amount of commercials has definitely increased. The time spent watching them, probably not so much. I know my time watching commercials has been close to zero ever since I won a Betamax in a contest in 1977.
     
  7. russ9

    russ9 Godfather

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    And today, during a commercial break you can visit the loo, make a sandwich, AND walk the dog.
     
  8. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It is a limited survey but perhaps 20-22 minutes should be considered the broadcast critical mass. It seems that we get more than that on some cable channels that stretch movies out with commercial breaks (and occasionally cut content to make room for more commercials).

    Perhaps the apparent leveling over the last decade has been influenced by VCR/DVRs where broadcasters have figured out that if they try to put more commercials into the program breaks they won't be watched. So the move over the past decade is to put more commercials into the programs: product placements.
     
  9. Charise

    Charise AllStar/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    What also needs to be added into wasted program time are the "coming up next on ..." segments prior to commercials in many shows. Are they getting us ready for even more ads now when in future they will just cut those and add even more commercials? At this point I don't put anything past them. Am I one of only a few who don't need a commercial for the show I'm actually watching??

    I don't watch anything "live" now. If I miss some commercials that might have been of interest to me, then they've lost a product sale. I'll live without it, whatever it is.

    I can't count how many times I go through 5 minutes of skipped commercials to come back to 4 minutes of show and then more commercials.

    No, I don't have a Hopper, but I consider that the networks have brought this on themselves, and I'd always use auto-hop if I did.
     
  10. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    My nominal comparison for program time is DVD program length. How long is the program when offered on DVD? I do not believe any of the show DVDs I have purchased are "extended cut" adding minutes that were not aired on TV so the DVD edit would be the core of the program ... which would include the credits and "previously on" segments at the beginning of the program but would not include bumpers in and out of commercial (which technically are part of the show but would not make sense on a DVD release).

    Those bumpers are needed on broadcast presentation to let people know what is ahead and remind them what was before. They compensate for interrupting the continuity of the program. They are not program time because they would not be needed if there were not commercials but they also are not commercial time. They are a byproduct of commercials.

    I do not believe they are filler that is awaiting replacement by commercial content. If they were replaced then other program time would need to be taken to provide the "coming up" and "before the break" bumpers. The more commercials there are the more the audience needs to be reminded of what they are watching.
     
  11. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I am surprised no one has mentioned the morning news/talk shows, (CBS This Morning, Today, etc.) To be fair I dont actually 'watch' the show, it is more background noise as I get ready and if I see or hear something interesting I stop and watch. That said is seems like it is 7-8 minutes of show, 3 minutes of commercial, back to the show for a 1 minute promo of what is coming up and 3 more minutes of commercials. Repeat, then go to the 5 minute local insert which is 2 minutes of news, 1 minute of commercial, 1 minute of weather then another minute of commercial. Now repeat everything for another half hour
     
  12. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    As much as I and everyone else here hates advertising, I think it would be a real eye opener to see how much a satellite subscription would cost if all advertising revenue was removed and the entire cost of production and distribution had to be paid by the viewers.
     
  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Not just satellite, but any tv provider would be a similar scenario, where the broadcasters would be charging much more for their programming if advertising wasnt defraying the production costs.
     

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