Spike TV: Home Of The 10-Minute Commercial Breaks

How long can a cable channel run commercials before viewers forget what they were watching and — literally — tune out? That’s the question that the folks at Spike TV appear to be tacitly asking their audience, as it stretches the length of some of its commercial breaks well past existing standards — some to as long as 10 minutes.

According to Ad Age, Spike’s cleansed-for-basic-cable rebroadcasts of HBO’s Entourage contains ad breaks that are longer than some of the segments on the show itself.

Here are the ingredients of one 10-minute ad break during an Aug. 27 airing of Entourage:

Spike started off with a promo for its UFC programming, then ran spots for DirecTV; Unilever’s Axe shampoo; B.F. Goodrich; Schering-Plough’s Zegerid OTC; Jack Link’s beef jerky; VF Corp.’s Lee Jeans; Screen Gems’ latest “Resident Evil” movie; AT&T; Miller Lite beer; and Progressive Insurance.

But wait, there’s more: Ads also ran during the break for PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew soda; Pep Boys; Trojan condoms; Outback Steakhouse; Mobil motor oil; Sony Corp.’s Vaio laptop; Diageo’s Captain Morgan Lime Bite rum; Kraft Foods’ Dentyne gum; a DVD for the FX program “Sons of Anarchy”; and UFC action figures. The break was then garnished with what appeared to be two ads from local cable operators.

For the sake of comparison, Ad Age timed the ad breaks on a few other channels and found them to average 3-4 minutes with the occasional 5-minute break.

A VP of Sales at Viacom, Spike’s parent company, responded as you’d probably expect:

We don’t want to put our customers in an environment that is not appropriate for their commercial messages… If there’s a problem, we’ll fix it.


Thanks to Gene for the tip!

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. syzygy says:

    They could go to 100% commercials, and it wouldn’t affect the quality level of Spike’s programming. Or their viewership, I’d wager.

  2. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I could never watch tv again without a DVR. When I visit my mom and she turns the TV on, I start to go nuts, and then I ask her to please turn off the TV.

    Even just fast-forwarding through the commercials tries my patience.

    • cmp179 says:

      Me too. I start wondering how much time I’m saving by fast forwarding, and then trying to think of little things I can do to try to save a little more.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Fire the cable company. Worked for me. Just take the money you saved and buy a mac mini and plug that into the tv. Then download a torrent client and knock yourself out.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        So you are advocating illegal piracy just to escape commercials?

        • Con Seanne-BZZZZZZZZZZZZ says:

          If you don’t have a Neilsen box, your viewing doesn’t get recorded. In that case, it makes no difference to the bottom line of the channel or studio whether your pirate or watch legally, so what’s the issue other than violating a law that’s not enforced anyways?

          • megafly says:

            It’s not stealing if nobody is looking? Is that really your claim?

            • Con Seanne-BZZZZZZZZZZZZ says:

              I’m claiming that ethically, it’s perfectly fine. It’s not the same as stealing a physical product, where there’s a cost involved with it. If I watch a show on my computer or on TV, it makes no difference to anyone’s bottom line. If that’s the case, why should I inconvenience myself by sitting through ads and scheduling when I watch it? My hour-long shows I watch are 42 to 44 minutes of show. That 16-18 minutes is enough time to do many things, none of which are sitting and getting annoyed at ads on TV.

              • robhossal says:

                That’s a good point. When someone downloads a movie, they’re depriving the distributor of income (from a ticket sale, DVD, digital copy, whatever). But downloading recorded TV (NOT dvd rips) is like going to a friend’s house and watching his/her DVR recordings. I still can’t help but think it is ethically fuzzy, but where is the crime?

                • Con Seanne-BZZZZZZZZZZZZ says:

                  The crime is the same as downloading the movie, but ethically it’s the same as watching your friend’s DVD of it, or his DVR recording, or just on the set at the regular time.

                • Genuineduck says:

                  When I download music, TV, or movies I’m depriving the distributor of nothing because if I didn’t pirate them I wouldn’t have them period.

                  So either way they aren’t getting income from me, so I might as well enjoy myself and give them some free publicity (“hey dude did you hear this new song by…”)

                • dangerp says:

                  If you ditch satellite/cable in order to torrent shows, then you *are* depriving the distributor of income. If you still have satellite/cable service, and you torrent anyway, then I think, under fair use, you are making a legitimate personal copy so you can view it according to your preferences. Of course, this is just IMHO, IANAL.

        • jason in boston says:

          Piracy is the uploading, not the downloading. And to be correct – it’s copyright infringement. I have yet to see a lawsuit that had the charges for merely downloading a show / movie.

          • jnads says:

            See, this is why pirates have such a bad rap.

            Yes, I know you do it, but don’t to make it conform to your morals. You’re stealing.

            Yes, you can argue that you wouldn’t have watched it anyway, but then why are you pirating it?

            And yes, pirating does effect the makers of the show. By now subscribing to cable and being included in Nielson ratings, you’re affecting whether the show gets canceled. Lots of good shows have been canceled because of pirates. Firefly and Arrested Development, to name two easy ones.

  3. FrugalFreak says:

    You can clearly tell they are marketing to Men

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not even men. They seem to have shifted to the primal essence of man. Violence or sex, without an actual plot or intellectual interest. This is coming from a man. Their programming really hold no intellectual pull for me. But if I want to see men fight each other or a nice pair of titties on a women, I can go to Spike.

    • pop top says:

      …Yes? That’s the point if Spike. It’s a channel for men, because you know how us women took away all the rest of TV from them!

      • pb5000 says:

        I’ve heard this sort of bitterness about Spike from a number of women. Women have Lifetime, Hallmark, We, Oxygen and plenty more networks that cater to women exclusively and men have plenty too besides spike. Why is it that when spike claims a demographic that is only men, you feel the need to make a snide comment like that?

        Honestly, not attacking, trolling or just trying to be mean, I’m just asking out of curiosity and only interested because I’ve heard this numerous times.

  4. Marko_Vulvic says:

    zero minutes. I’ve heard of a RAPID way to SHARE a TORRENT of HOTFILES that have no commercials.

  5. LaurelHS says:

    I like to mute the TV during commercials and play a song instead. But yeah, 10 minutes is a ridiculously long break.

  6. jaroth says:

    If there’s a problem, yo we’ll solve it, check out this commercial while my DJ revolves it.

  7. RobHoliday says:

    If it’s a rare occasion where I’m not watching something pre-recorded or time-shifted, I usually channel surf during commercial breaks.

    If TV stations want me to see any more commercials, they need to give me live HD streaming over the internet with “unskippable” commercials.

    BTW, my skip forward button on my remote is the only one worn completely off.

    • mac-phisto says:

      does channel surfing even work anymore? i tried finding something to watch in between commercials this weekend & you know what i found? more commercials. seems pointless to me, so i just get up & putz around the house when they come on.

      • DarthCoven says:

        my cable box (cablevision) has so much lag time between channel switches that surfing is downright painful.

        • kricka says:

          Now that I am a proud (forced) owner of a digital cable box, I have the same issue. Channel surfing just ain’t what it used to be.

  8. Griking says:

    Commercial television is the same as commercial radio for me. I just don’t tune in any more because of all the commercial breaks and crappy content. I wish there was an easy way for TV and radio executives to know how many customer’s they’ve lost because of this.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I don’t listen to the radio anymore either.

    • Angus99 says:
    • nybiker says:

      A few years ago I got a call from Arbitron (they are to radio what Nielsen is to TV) and they wanted me to keep track of my radio listening for a week. Sure, no problem. Every day I selected ‘Did not listen to the radio today’ since I truly didn’t. And I wasn’t at anyplace during the day that had a radio station playing.
      When I’m in a friend’s car and they want to get the traffic report from CBS or WINS I cringe while all the ads are playing. I usually end up pleading with my friend to turn off the radio until the ’8′ or ’1′ time-frame arrives so we can listen to the report and then turn it off. Oh I how hate talking on the radio. I miss ‘NEW-FM big time (even though they had commercials and chopped off or talked over the songs, at least they played more than 1 in a row).
      Now it’s just my CDs and MP3 player.

      • Dan T. says:

        I remember a “traffic report” recently on a local station (that I listened to for a few minutes between when my clock radio woke me up and when I hit the “off” button) that went something like, “And now, the [sponsor's name] traffic report. [Announcer reads slogan and blurb for sponsor.] I-95 is slow around Atlantic Avenue due to an accident in the northbound lanes. Our traffic report is brought to you by [different sponsor from the first one] [another recitation of slogan and blurb]. And that’s your traffic report for today. [Start a long series of commercials before finally playing some music.]

  9. Tracer Bullet says:

    Unless its a live sporting event I will not watch it if there are commercials. At least with sports they at least try to get back when the action starts up again.

    • nybiker says:

      But sometimes you miss a pitch or kickoff though. And let’s not get started on the Heidi Bowl.
      Nevertheless, the breaks themselves are getting longer and longer. Inning breaks and timeouts just drag out the game. Not that I watch them anymore. Now the NFL has the games programmed to run 3 1/4 hours. And yesterday’s Giants game ran 3 hours and 19 minutes. When I did watch the rare football game I used to pray that it would be low-scoring, rushing-dominated, penalty-free game. That way there’s less timeouts. Of course, it rarely went that way.

      • webweazel says:

        And then there was the moment I was at the NHRA drag racing finals, watching the final eliminations. The cars were ready, lining up at the tree, and they shut them down because they needed a commercial break on the live feed. HELLO? I am here, sitting in the burning hot afternoon sun, a mass of sweating humanity surrounding me, paying $50+ per ticket to attend, and you shut down an event paid for by 20,000 fans for a commercial break? WHAT? Still makes me angry to this day.
        On a live event, they should work the commercials around the action, or keep recording and delay the feed as it goes to fit commercials. Trying to do REAL live shows screws either the money-paying fans, or screws the people watching at home, missing out on the action happening during those long-ass breaks. This needs to be addressed.

  10. Foot_Note says:

    people actually watch spike? O.o

  11. jason in boston says:

    Spike has to compete with free. This is not competing very well.

  12. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    I would hazard to guess that because the episodes have been “cleansed” there is not enough of them left to fill a normal 1-hour slot.

    …their solution being to apparently just put in enough commercials to fill the whole hour.

    It would probably be much more conducive to improved viewership to keep commercial breaks to normal lengths, and only have the show occupy 45 minutes, or whatever it is. Then have a commercial marathon, or show some kind of short, or whatever.

    And on the topic of the poll – the instant a commercial comes on I am either off the couch doing something (like getting another beer), or channel-surfing, or reading a magazine, or *something*. I almost never actually suffer a whole commercial. And for the most part, every time I see a commercial I make a little mental note about not buying that product. Especially considering paid-for cable/satellite TV service.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I imagine it would be extremely difficult to sell ad space for a 15-minute “commercial marathon” at the end of the show. All of the viewers would know in advance not to watch it.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Perhaps. Hence, run a short of some kind. Or do 15-minute informercial spots. There’s more than one way to productively use 15 minutes of air time.

    • nybiker says:

      Years ago, SciFi announced they were going to show the original Star Trek episodes. No cuts. Of course, when ST was first broadcast, it was during the days of fixed amounts of commercials. (1978 was the end of that). I think that, credits included, you’d be talking about 50 or so minutes of an episode. That sounded great since we’d still have just 10 minutes of commercials. Nope. They made the episode 90 minutes. Sure, no cuts to content, but 30 more minutes of ads. Didn’t watch ‘em.

      • valkyrievf2x says:

        You ain’t kidding. Just recently rented the show from the library, and my wife and I were wondering for the longest just how long the show was. Average running time was 52 minutes. Always thought old shows were longer than new ones…

  13. Michaela says:

    When I watch a program, I pick a sub-program to switch to during commercials (sometimes something stupid on HGTV, or other times something already loaded up on my laptop).

    I am a college student on a tight budget. I can’t afford to watch many commercials (makes me want too much that I don’t need).

    • MuffinSangria says:

      I do the same thing when don’t have the dvr or watching live. Actually, I usually have 2 sub programs in case the secondary is running commercials at the same time as the primary. Have even become extremely good at timing the return to the primary program.

      When watching on the dvr, I either pause the program and start is late or record it. If you change stations during commercials and miss part of the program, while it’s being recorded, you can rewind.

  14. cameronl says:

    And people pay for the privilege of watching channels like this? So glad I pulled the cable 15 years ago.

  15. KhaiJB says:

    Wait?

    Spike show ads?

    I thought it was constant CSI reruns and that fighting crap…

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      CSI is the only thing I ever watched on Spike TV, and that was when I discovered the show in the middle of season 4. I watched all the previous episodes on Spike, over a period of just a few months, and never tuned into Spike again.

  16. AllanG54 says:

    Even if I don’t change the channel I’ll mute most commercials anyhow. When I listen to radio as soon as the commercial starts the station gets changed.

  17. wren337 says:

    SageTV + Comskip Monitor = what commercials?

    • kingofmars says:

      I’m on media center, and I’m using show analyzer. It’s not 100% accurate, but I’m going to try linebackers guide, and pretty soon I’ll be in the same camp as you. I’ve also heard rumors that cable card support is getting better for sage and mythTV.

  18. redskull says:

    Which is why I stopped watching TV altogether.

    I got rid of cable last year when I realized I was paying $60+ a month for it, but only regularly watching 4 shows. After I dumped cable I had about 12 or so over the air channels. On the rare occasion that I’d sit down and watch something on them, I experienced this same thing– ridiculously lengthy commercial breaks that were so long that I got fed up and shut off the TV.

    Now I either watch shows online, or watch some of the many DVD boxsets I own. Or some days I don’t watch anything at all and just go for a walk.

    Thanks, commercial and cable TV, for giving me more free time!

  19. hicks says:

    This same thing happened to me over the weekend, I was watching the FIBA basketball final on ESPN’s streaming video, and they opted to force 3 or 4 commercials before breaking in on live programming…of a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. It seems over the past few years that broadcasters have decided that the content is just the thing you wrap around the ads as opposed to the reverse, and Spike is merely taking it to the logical conclusion of that line of thinking.

    And it’s hard to say without saying smug, but I haven’t had cable/satellite in over a year and I don’t miss it a bit.

  20. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Super pet peeve: when they play a movie and it starts out with a good amount of content and not too bad on the commercials, but then as the movie gets closer to the end the commercial : movie ratio starts getting out of control.

    I’m a Tivo man but if I’m having to flick the skip button over and over and over every 6 minutes I tend to get a little ornery.

    Damn sunk costs.

    • nybiker says:

      That’s been happening for years on regular broadcast channels. The Movie of the Week used to run for at least 15 or maybe even 20 minutes without a break so that you’d be hooked. Of course, by the time the final 45 or so minutes started, well, let’s just say you could nuke the microwave during one break and then eat it all during the next one.

    • ajlei says:

      Oh I can’t stand that. My mom and I watched “Airport” a couple years ago on TV. She’d DVR’d it and it would just drive us nuts having to skip forward sooner and sooner each time.

  21. scratchie says:

    Wow. The mind, it boggles. Oh, if only there were some sort of technology that would allow us to avoid these ads altogether!

  22. milkcake says:

    I stopped watching TV the moment I arrived in the US. In Korea, the Ads are actually between an hour long shows. If the show is longer than that, they’ll put ads at about 1 hr break. That basically means I never had to watch ads when I’m watching a show. Only between two different shows. It’s big waste of time and it’s not fun watching shows filled with ads. The only ones I’ll tolerate watching ads are sport games. Having ads in those doesn’t really distract from the game itself since ads happen between innings or during time-outs.

  23. smo0 says:

    Commercials are the #1 reason I don’t watch tv.
    Shitty programming is #2.
    Everything else I get online.
    I think I was over at a friend’s house watching Burn Notice on USA … and I dunno.. maybe I’ve been out of the loop for too long, but I feel very awkward when I watch commercials… does anyone else get that?

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Exactly. Nor do I listen to the radio (except NPR on occasion).

      The Internet is getting bad, too. More and more sites are getting those stupid pop-under ads, slide-across ads and so on. All you have to do is hover over something and they slap you in the face with an ad.

  24. chrisexv6 says:

    Is this why I recently noticed their “PowerBlock TV” shows starting at :10 past the hour, instead of on the hour like before?

    Yes, Spike has something other than CSI and fighting. Some of the car-related shows are fun to watch (my 5 yr old loves them), but the funkiness with the start/end times is annoying. Must be so they can fit in some monster commercial breaks (luckily none of the long ones are actually during any of the PowerBlock shows I see)

  25. Orv says:

    MTV has had really long commercial breaks since at least the 1990s…I can remember taping stuff off there and trying to pause out the commercials, and finding my VCR’s pause mode would time out before the commercial break ended.

  26. JMH says:

    “We don’t want to put our customers in an environment that is not appropriate for their commercial messages… If there’s a problem, we’ll fix it.”

    What does that even mean?

    • LoadStar says:

      Hint: customers = advertisers. (Viewers are the product, not the customers.)

      So, roughly translated, it means: until the advertisers complain, there isn’t an issue, and viewers should shut up and get used to it.

  27. Donathius says:

    Dual-tuner plus PiP on my Dish Network DVR. I switch to something else, and I if really want to keep watching the “main” thing I was watching then I put it in the PiP window and switch back when it comes back on.

    Or I just DVR the show and keep my thumb on the skip forward button.

  28. dolemite says:

    I wait about….5 seconds. Drives my wife nuts. I’ll skim through all the channels each and every time commercials come on. I could be missing out on something good!

  29. Veeber says:

    My wife was telling me that in Korea they don’t have commercial interruptions. Basically little sponsorship logos show up in the bottom corner or run as a banner. After the show is over then the ads will run for 10-15 minutes before the next show starts. I would prefer moving in that direction, since the ads in Korea are much more entertaining as they try to get viewers to stick around.

  30. redskull says:

    Why don’t they just put “half hour” shows in a one hour time slot? That way the networks can run 40 minutes worth of commercials, and they’ll only need half as much programming. Everyone wins! Except the viewer.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      If they’re running 10 minute commercial breaks during Entourage, that must be pretty much what they’re doing. The running time for Entourage is about 25 minutes.

  31. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Question, as I rarely watch spike, do these long breaks take the place of those super distracting pop up ads that run over nearly every show on ever network now? Because I’d be almost willing to trade that. Seriously it’s like there is some bet between network execs on who can display the largest overlay for the longest time before someone gives up on the show entirely.

  32. jvanbrecht says:

    I flip channels immediately on non recorded shows during ads. If there is nothing on any of the other channels (I like how they all seem to time the ad placement at the exact same time), I will pause the TV, screw around on my laptop or whatever, then skip the ad, for live TV.

    Most of the time I usually wait 15 to 20 minutes before I start to watch a show.

    Yes I know, they said no DVR, I was talking about my 1 tuner old tivo, but sans any DVR at all, I will mute the TV during the ads and ignore them.

    I hate ads, I am paying for my TV, broadcast channels are one thing, network channels, I refuse to support the ads, unless that particular ad is amusing to me.

    That said, I will also go out of my way to actually not buy any products of ads that annoy the hell out of me.

    • nybiker says:

      Between your ‘boycott’ of ads that annoy you and my real boycott of any corporate john (what I call the folks who buy naming rights to stadiums and events [think college bowl games] or to be the official widget of whatever) I think we are making progress in getting them to stop. Ok, maybe not. But I feel better knowing that I am not contributing to their cash hoard.
      I understand that I may not be able to avoid all the corporate johns out there when it comes to my buying habits, but I do my best.

  33. solipsistnation says:

    I make my own commercials at home.

  34. MercuryPDX says:

    Having a DVR spoils non-DVR Television. It makes every commercial break feel painfully longer than it is.

  35. JulesNoctambule says:

    There’s no option for what I do — mute the ads and pay attention to something else until I notice the show’s back on.

  36. 67alecto says:

    I noticed this “supersizing” a few weeks ago – they lead in to Entourage with CSI episodes that run 80 minutes. I noticed because I was hitting ‘forward’ on my DVR to skip the commercials (which bumps it 30 seconds) 15-20 times to get past them.

  37. Marshmelly says:

    I guess I’m the only one that doesn’t really mind television commercials? 10 minutes of them, yes…but if its just a standard length commercial break it doesn’t really bother me. I find some of them entertaining. *shrug*

    Radio commercials though? I feel like I’m being tortured. They’re just so ridiculously over-exaggerated and irritating. I cannot stand when I’m in a car with someone and they don’t switch the station at a commercial break. Guess its good I don’t really listen to radio anymore anyhow.

  38. jvanbrecht says:

    Spike does not have the monopoly on long ads.. MTV and VH1 have been doing this for years.. hell they barely even show music anymore…. why do we still pay for that garbage???

    Also.. I just looked at the lineup on spike.. and realized.. there is 0 on there that interests me, other than the Power block (aka redneck car shows :) ). I’m a car guy, I find the shows interesting, other than that.. nothing..

  39. NumberSix says:

    I remember when it used to be four 30 second spots then back to the program. You could set your watch by it.

  40. Spook Man says:

    I’ve noticed the “shortness” of hour-long shows since I started watching them on Hulu.. Since you have maybe 3-4 30-second to minute breaks on hulu, your shows actually show their true run-times..

    First, it started to be about 52 minutes for tv shows; ok not bad.. Then they shortened to 46 minutes; wow, big jump.. Now, they’re down to 43 minutes.. WTF?

    Same with half-hour shows.. I believe they started out around 22 minutes and now most are down to 18 minutes with some even down to 15-16 minutes.. Again, WTF?

    I really don’t watch “live” tv anymore because of this.. Record it on the TiVo and the 30-second skip is nice and I can get to just the show content without any issues..

    One thing I hate about networks, they’ll run their shows another 10-30 seconds beyond their run-times; so your DVR stops recording directly on the hours. So you miss the ending or what’s coming up next week.. Next week portion, oh well, but when it’s part of the story, that stinks.. That’s where Hulu comes into play then.. :)

    • shell_beach says:

      heres a question…

      if a show has lost all its value due to excessive commercials is it then morally ok to steal it with torrents etc?

      and if you does it instantly gains its value back? and therefore makes you morally not watch it?

      or do you say screw it, commercials are out of control and you dont care till something changes?

    • stint7 says:

      My feeling is that i pay for cable, if I want to download a show I either missed or want to check out, I have the right. Honestly, I paid for the privilege of cable, why should I pay for commercials if I choose not to.

  41. madtube says:

    I have been wondering why 60 minute programs are now something like 84 minutes.

    Asshats.

  42. Design3r says:

    It’s like their having to subsidize the cost of viewers cable…. Oh wait, we pay $90 for the opportunity to watch these commercials.

  43. skapig says:

    Yes, 10 minutes is a bit excessive but so what? You have the options of time-shifting to allow for skipping, not watching, or doing something else during the break.

  44. webweazel says:

    If I know an extra long ad time is coming, great. I’ll go scope out what’s in the fridge, feed the cat, microzap some popcorn, balance the checkbook, whatever. What really irks me is shows with short too-frequent ads. Good Morning America or Oprah are good examples of this. 2 minutes of show, 2 minutes of ad, 3 minutes of show, 2 minutes of ad, 1 minute of show telling you what is coming up next, 2 minutes of ad, 2 minutes of show telling you what tomorrow’s show will be about, 2 minutes of ads, 3 minutes of show, 2 minutes of ad, and on and on. It gives me brainal whiplash, and I can’t get my mind back onto what the hell I was watching to begin with.

  45. ThunderRoad says:

    I remember growing up when my father was a program director at the local ABC station (WDIO). 4 30-second spots at the :15 and :45 march, 4 30-second spots at :00 and :30 coupled with a local bumper (10-seconds) and 2 to 4 30 second local spots.

    Thus the commercial breaks were 2 minutes at the quarter hour and about 4:10 a the top and bottom. Some of that 4:10 might be broken up by the opening theme or closing credits of the show as well.

    Shows were timed to be 50 to 52 minutes in length (assuming an hour), or 25-26 if a half-hour show.

  46. mandys08 says:

    as a female, I can’t say I know anything about Spike but I do watch Blue Mountain State online because it is awesome. exaggerated perhaps, but based in truth

  47. Mr.Grieves says:

    I don’t like the available poll options. For me it’s less than 5 seconds. And if you’re waiting 3-4 minutes you might as well not flip the channel because it’s about to come back on anyways lol.

  48. Marko_Vulvic says:

    This is why traditional TV doesn’t work for me and why it’s been 5+ years since I’ve had cable.

    Internet bill: $70 a month for Internet + TV. I can stream, download, no commercials, and adblock any site I choose. I can access it from my iPhone, PSP, TV (which is just a glorified LCD monitor anyways), and if I reeeeaaally want to stream a live event (World Cup, Hockey, speech, etc) … there’s always a way. Oh yeah, and it’s also great for text ;)

    TV bill: $70 a month for…..TV. And they STILL make me watch commercials. And I cant time shift. And i have to watch it on a TV. f*ck em.

    Thanks for making my decision easy.

  49. frank64 says:

    If you are an advertiser, wouldn’t you figure you are wasting your money? You would think rating would go down too.

    I wish the would go back to 10 minutes and hour, that would be a fair ratio. Now I DVR or use Netflix for shows.

  50. tsdguy says:

    Ever watch new channel “The Cooking Channel”. Sheesh – every show is at least 50% commercials. They’re the only place to see The French Chef but they cut it so much that Julia looks like she’s having a seizure as she is cooking. Thing appear magically. It’s so disappointing I even wrote them an email figuring they would be interested in their viewers opinion.

    Oh, yea, sarcasm at it’s finest.

  51. Levk says:

    Really, I can wait about a min without changing the channel but most times I watch TV and do something else, If I notice the program not coming back on I will change it.

    A 10 min break is to long really I much rather watch tv on the Net at least the stream commercials are 10secs-1.5mins which is fine with me, but more then 2 mins is pushing it for me, not like I will buy anything because of commercials in fact I stopped buying stuff because of crappy commercials.

  52. DanyO says:

    Nowdays, I watch all my shows from the xbox/xbmc mediaplayer. No ads. Done.

    Stations are getting more greedy every year. Longer breaks, less content, and is it just me, or are reruns during regular season now commonplace?

    I’ve noticed this on a lot of shows my wife watches (like Grey’s anatomy), but I now watch Lie To Me, and I have to check the channel guide every week to see if it’s actually going to play (it seems like they’re only playing part-time nowdays…)

    Oh, and another thing, if you want to build a strong following on your shows (especially the new ones), don’t go on a 4 months-long hiatus mid-season. *cough* Flash Forward *cough*

  53. Jaws_Victim says:

    I don’t watch tv anymore because I can’t stand commercials. It has been YEARS since I have actually sat down and watched a tv program.

  54. Sian says:

    G4′s been doing this for years.

  55. Minj says:

    I don’t watch tv anymore but I would have no problem with a 10 minute commercial break. Put it at 10 till the hour so I know I have a consistently long gap of time to get something to eat or use the restroom. Make it the only commercial per hour segment. Seems like a better plan to me than random length, random timed commercials.

  56. Elgog Partynipple says:

    If you ask me, both Spike and FX channels have far too many commercial breaks that last a really long time. FX will broadcast movies that are 90 minutes long in a 3 hour time slot. What do you think fills the additional 90 minutes? Commercials!!! Same with Spike TV. I don’t watch either of the stations because of this. It’s just too much. It’s no sense emailing them because they know people don’t want excessive commerials but they do it anyway. They don’t need focus groups to tell them they have too much advertising so they really don’t care about the viewer apparently.