• More Commercials on TV — Especially for Kids

    by  • August 5, 2015 • Advertiser Accountability, Studies • 6 Comments

    pctimg173A recent article from Advertising Age reports that TV networks are stuffing more ads than ever into TV shows…espcially programs aimed at kids.

    According to the article, TV networks – both on broadcast TV and on cable and satellite – are stuffing more commercials into each hour. AMC Networks (home to programs like The Walking Dead) is now showing 10% more commercials in each hour than they did last year, while Viacom’s networks (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and others) are up 7%. As each network’s ratings decline, the network desperately shoves more commercials on the air, hoping that, by showing more ads, they can charge sponsors more, and thus make up for the revenue loss caused by declining viewership. Says one media analyst quoted in the article, “The continued ad stuffing is an obvious and unsustainable (some would say ‘desperate’) action [against] viewers made numb by the absurd amount of ads.”

    But the biggest victims of this new strategy are children. “Kids’ networks led the way in ad stuffing, with Nickelodeon increasing its commercials by 6% and TeenNick and NickToons up double digits. Cartoon Network raised its commercial time by 4%,” noted the article.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    6 Responses to More Commercials on TV — Especially for Kids

    1. Random Bro
      December 29, 2015 at 10:35 am

      Overnight Disney XD airs The Addiction Network and other dangerous commercials, they even air Proactiv EVERY DAY! Even during the Two More Eggs Tuesday Takeover, they aired Proactiv. They also air Health Hotlines like the new Grandma and Ellie commercial.

    2. Jesse Skeen
      August 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Commercial time has gotten FAR out of hand- it’s one of the main reasons why I watch hardly any TV at all and consider most of it to be an unwatchable mess! I have shows recorded off the air in the 70s where most commercial breaks are ONE minute long and there is less than ten minutes of commercial time per hour altogether- on some shows now there are more than 20 minutes of commercials! Of course on cable there should be NO commercials at all if you have to PAY just to watch it, and that is the main reason why I have never had cable!

      If they are really adding more commercials to make up for declining viewers, then the TV business is in even worse shape than I thought. The less viewers, the less any sponsor will want to pay to have their commercial shown, and in the meantime increased commercials will just drive away even more viewers! I think the TV industry needs to do some house-cleaning and fire the people behind this, and bring in people who can bring a fresh new approach to TV and make it more appealing for both viewers and advertisers! I’m available for very reasonable rates! :)

    3. Donna Blankenhorn
      August 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      We no longer have children living at home but do have grandchildren. Even if we didn’t, are very concerned about how things are going in general. If network’s rating are down and are forcing more and more commercials on us, of which they are ,people will stop watching or will get device on TV to block commercials. They will get no where.

    4. Dave
      August 7, 2015 at 11:56 am

      I have noticed for more than a few years, when trying to watch SpongeBob and other shows on Nickelodeon, there seems to be about 3-minutes of programming before another long block of commercials would come on. And the commercials for the toys seem to be getting more desperate and urgent, as in “BUY THIS NOW!!!” kind of thing.

      In my house we can turn off the commercials when they start getting overwhelming. I can only imagine what some kids in other houses are thinking, that the commercials are just another show and don’t you dare turn that off…

      The almighty dollar sign is getting a bit too much power these days.

    5. Gary Woods
      August 7, 2015 at 10:52 am

      The increase in the number of commercial on ALL TV stations is not ones imagination. I have timed some of the programing vs commercial and have actually the time spend on commercials is equal to the time the program is being presented. In fact, we have a TV station in Phoenix on COX Cable (TV Land) who normally shows the old sitcoms and were once a joy to watch, however, now so many commercials have been inserted to these half hour or hour shows that they do not operate on the normal 30 or 6o minute schedule, but have 1/2 hour shows, for example, that may be on from 10:09 to10:39 (for example). It is becoming very hard to continued enjoying their programming so have watching this channel altogether.

    6. Marie Jeannine Mondoux-Smith
      August 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Yes, I’ve noticed all those stupid commercials. This is the reason, I shut it off, go read a book, or scan the computer or I watch the ball games in the summer and the hockey games in the winter. Also, I don’t think I will every buy a payday
      candy bar again either after the new commercial that came on the ball game the other night. The people who write commercials must not be playing with a full deck. The commercials are really STUPID….like the Payday Candy Bar (which was one of my favorite candy bars-but no more) placing something to not expose (the candy bars) privates. Talk about stupidity. Another thing I hate about all the new commercials almost all the people have mixed marriages.

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