A broadcast program that has been an institution on late-night TV is reducing the number of commercials it will carry. NBCUniversal announced today that “Saturday Night Live” will reduce its commercial load by 30% starting next season.
The show will reportedly eliminate two commercial pods.
Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator and executive producer, said in the announcement: “As the decades have gone by, commercial time has grown. This will give time back to the show and make it easier to watch the show live.”
The program launched in 1975 and is currently winding down its 41st season. While the show continues to produce popular online videos, ratings for the live broadcast have generally fallen off in recent years. “SNL” has been averaging a 1.9 rating this season in the key 18-49 demo in Live+Same Day, about even with a year ago.
“As part of this change, viewers will see more program content with an addition of original sponsored content from advertisers that partner with the show,” NBCU said in the announcement.
Added Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal: “Since 1975, ‘SNL’ has shaped and driven conversation. We are excited to try something new and unique that will shape and drive advertiser content too. By partnering together, advertisers can capture an audience that only ‘SNL’ can deliver.”