Networks Have Been Promising to Reduce Ad Loads, But Guess What Has Really Happened

Dec 7, 2018  •  Post A Comment

A number of TV networks have been making noise about cutting down on commercials, but a new analysis suggests that just the opposite has happened.

“Despite boasts among many networks — especially Fox’s — that they would be reducing commercial clutter to improve their viewer’s experiences in order to boost ratings, attentiveness and revenues, the trend has been in the other direction,” MediaPost reports.

In a thorough analysis of network supply-and-demand, including ad inventory, UBS TV industry analyst John Hodulik is quoted saying: “Ad loads (i.e. commercial minutes per hour of programming) have been increasing steadily across the industry since 4Q17 (the same time ratings began to deteriorate).”

He adds: “Year-to-date, cable network ad loads have been up 3% on average across all networks tracked by Nielsen.”

MediaPost notes one exception on cable: “With the exception of NBCU’s cable networks, all of the major cable groups are at or near their all-time clutter highs.”

The report also cites some progress on the broadcast side at Fox: “With the exception of some reductions earlier this year at Fox, the broadcast marketplace has been boosting the supply of commercial minutes to offset audience erosion,” MediaPost reports.

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