TV ADS: Growing By The Minute!

Now-a-days, as you might suspect, TV ads or TV commercials, are how television, cable and other venues fund your TV viewing entertainment. Hell, even on venues like SiriusXM or Hulu, despite paying for the subscription services, you still get ads and locked out of fast-forwarding. Which is confusing and doubly annoying, because services like Hulu are then double-dipping into the advertising money pool.

I'm going to lead with this whopper: Advertisers drop $78 BILLION on ads each year, the basic networks piece of that is around $18B per season.

Yes, I typed billion.

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But as you have probably noticed, ads during your television viewing time are starting to eat up more time per hour as time goes on and it shows in various ways. At times, shows no longer have fade ins or out going into our out of TV ads. Or shows now jam credit scrolling on the bottom of a split screen while jamming in the movie or show ending.

Then there's the ad skipping adventures.

When I watch TV, I have that remote ready to go with that 30-second jump button on content that I watch via my DVR. Or in my sneaky way, on "live" TV.

On basic networks, I tend to have to jump through the ads about 8-10 times with the 30-second button. (Four to five minutes). On networks like The Syfy Channel, I'm jumping at a minimum, five to six minutes of ad time. On TLC, I was jumping over seven-minutes worth of ads. Of course they then jam in these stupid-ass previews in the middle of their 7-8 minute ad breaks. Hey TLC, I'm not that f*ing stupid, I know the show I'm watching.

On network television, back in 2009 TV commercials averaged just under 14 minutes an hour. In 2013, the average went up to just over 14 minutes per hour.

On cable TV, in 2009 they averaged 14.5 minutes but in 2016, their average was over 15.5 minutes per hour.

Fox Television Network seems to love their TV ads, where they averaged just over 15-minutes per hour, and their news channel averages just under 17 minutes per hour, the highest for all channels out there, both cable and network.

In 2015,

After Fox's ad rates per hour,
CBS averaged 14:23/hour,
ABC - 13:51/hour,
NBC - 13:46/hour,
CW - 10:43/hour.

On cable,

Four Viacom networks were in the top five --
Spike (16:43),
MTV (16:21),
BET (16:16), and
Comedy Central (16:14). Then
TBS (15:31) and
truTV (15:17).

If you want to support networks that don't pummel you with ads,

ESPN (8:33),
AMC (9:43),
FX (11:09);
Cartoon Network (11:46);
National Geographic (12:28); and
TNT (12:39).

(But I believe those latter numbers do not involve "ads" pitching their own network content like other shows and what not.)

DID YOU KNOW that in Australia, they enforce a maximum number of minutes per hour that ads can be run.

But on this new landscape of TV ads, they've started dropping their 30-second slots for more 15-second slots. In fact 15-second slotted ads account for 44% of all ads.

For all those ads you watch, the average cost to advertisers for a 30-second ad is just under $8k, in primetime. But for now, advertisers are worried about those of us with DVRs and our wicked, FF button finger.

Here's a curious FYI: Despite all the channels we have access to via cable or satellite, we tend to only watch or favor around 17 channels out of all of it. On average.


So there we are on some networks getting pummelled by ads every 6 minutes, then we get about 6 minutes of ads in our face before we return to our 6-minutes of TV watching and what not. Or in some cases, if you really time it, 6 minutes of ads for every 5 minutes of television.

Even if we end up boycotting live (+7) television advertising, we are still screwed. Take Hulu for instance, where they want you to pay for content that has already aired, plus they restrict your ability to FF through ads, and then they also don't have the entire line-up of a show's season. You might want to go watch season two of The Good Place and find that they're missing the first two episodes.

Then again, even if we pay for something that has "no ads," we still get pummelled by ads for themselves. In this instance, I'm referencing SiriusXM where the channels with no ads still take a minute every few minutes to tell you they have no ads. WHAT?  Or they tell you that they have another style of music on a different channel. Dudes, it's still advertising.


Commercials are a dual-fold kind of evil. One is that they annoy the living crap out of some of us while others don't care. There are those like myself who have learned the art of DVR... record a show, then watch it 30 minutes in. Then you can skip commercials and not be burdened by that noise.

ON the other hand:

It's commercials that pay for the stuff we watch. If they didn't spend their billions per season on ads, we would not have the TV shows we all love to watch.

I'm NOT EVEN going to talk about how TV ads are f*ing loud, but what I am going to make an observation about is how, despite how stupid they look and seem, television commercials work. It completely amazes me that people fall for the products that TV ads pitch, trusting blindly to the sales pitches, designed to psychologically impact how you view the products.

So there you have it. Over one-fourth of all TV we watch is filled with ads. But we live in a conundrum of entertainment. If we get the world were there are no ads, we get no TV. If we like our TV, we need ads. And we or some of us need to watch them and be brain washed into buying the pitched products.

What are we going to do? The world we live in is nothing but a giant ecosystem of ads everywhere we go.

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Resources used to slap this bit together:

-LA Times,
-Media Post,
-Marketing Charts.

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