Could An NFL Lockout Force Networks To Run Even More Ads?

Now that the NFL’s postseason is in full swing (even though my beloved Eagles were so quickly eliminated), it’s time for many to start wondering if owners and players will be able to resolve their problems before the start of the next season. If not, the biggest losers could end up being the networks and, by extension, TV viewers — whether they watch football or not.

Not only are the major networks facing an estimated $3 billion loss in ad revenue if the NFL lockout occurs, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and DirecTV have contributed to a $4 billion pool that they must pay to the NFL regardless of whether or not a single game of football is played.

While the NFL general counsel says the league would “have to give [the money] back to them and take reductions about what we get from them for future years,” that could be a lengthy process and TV networks are not known for patience.

So what’s the fastest way for broadcasters to make money? More commercials.

We’ve already seen Viacom-owned cable channel Spike TV running commercial breaks that last as long as 10 minutes, and several of the ad breaks during the finale episode of Lost ran upwards of six to seven minutes. So the precedent has been set for longer commercial interruptions.

We wonder if this could also mean an increase in the number of ads aired during the breaks of shows running on Hulu and other sites, where most viewers have gotten used to only one or two ads at a time.

Finally, broadcasters rarely make a change that would lead to less revenue. So, supposing they begin loading up prime time with even more ads, and people don’t turn off their TV sets en masse, it’s unlikely that you’d see the networks going back to a normal number of ads if/when they get their money back from the NFL.

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  1. dolemite says:

    I already feel like every show I watch (that isn’t DVR’d) is about 50% ads and 50% show.

    My wife gets mad when I flip channels during commercials but damned if I’m going to pay $135 a month for cable to watch ads. And yeah, MTV and Spike are 2 of the worse offenders.

  2. Alvis says:

    Seriously? No more football on TV? This sounds AWESOME.

    No more DVR missing EVERY show airing after an always-running-long football game.

    Bring on the commercials! I just won’t watch them.

    • TimothyT says:

      The catastrophic implications of no football on TV far outweighs missing those precious little shows. Seriously though, why do they only allot three hours for games that always run longer?

      • Alvis says:

        Well, “catastrophe” is a strong word, but you’re right – allot extra time in the first place and then fill it with sports bloopers or something if the game runs short.

      • Gundy says:

        my question is why do they allot 3 hours to a game that should only take 1 hour to play.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Because there’s not the slightest drop of sense in the statement “should only take an hour to play.”

    • jesusofcool says:

      …And maybe some actually interesting programming on Saturdays/Sundays!

      Seriously, what irritates me the most about this isn’t actually that the amount of commercials will increase, but that once again, athletes are disrupting fans lives so they can crank about whether they make 6 million or 7 million this year.

    • Plasmafox says:

      “I just wont watch them.”

      I’m so tired of this argument. This is completely aside the point and easier said than done. Commercials are designed to be obnoxious. They’re never silent for more than a quarter of a second, they use a high-contrast screen transition at least every two seconds, and even contrast different actor’s voices. Whether you realize it or not, every time this happens, you see or hear it, and your brain has to stop and check it. Something changes in your peripheral vision or there’s a new sound and your mind says “look”. They are designed to preclude your ability to pay attention to anything else. If you can do it, great, alot of people can’t or don’t care to.

      On top of that many of the commercials today are misleading, deceptive, or use psychological manipulators to get their “message” across. Even the worst offenders(finallyfast, activia et al.) are usually on for months before the FCC takes action. The average Consumerist reader knows better, but the average American clearly doesn’t, that’s how these people make money. And I’m worried about the constant psychological hooks we are prodded with every day thanks to advertising- it can’t be healthy.

      • MPD01605 says:

        Valid, except it’s hard to notice the effects of a commercial when you can hit the “skip 30 seconds” button on the remote because you DVR.

      • MeowMaximus says:

        Which is why I ditched cable years ago, and now watch all my TV shows on line. No commercials, no cable bill. Yeah I am paying for top tier internet service, but I would be anyway, and it’s STILL about half of what a decent cable package would be.

        I call this a “Win-Win”

  3. sir_eccles says:

    MythTv + autoskip

  4. Supes says:

    This is the primary reason I pay for TIVO service. Almost universally (with the possible exception of sports, and even that sometimes) when I see something on TV I want to watch, I’ll just record it and go back later.

    There are no shows that won’t be better when watched an hour later and with no commercials.

    • c!tizen says:

      “There are no shows that won’t be better when watched an hour later and with no commercials”

      maybe, but maybe not. The networks aren’t going to start adjusting time slots to allow for more commercials, they’ll more then likely have the shows cut and edited to accommodate for the extra time the commercials run. This could very easily equate to a drop in content quality due to time restraints. 30 minute shows are already about 18 to 20 minutes to allow for commercials, we very well may end up with 12 to 18 minute shows.

      Unless of course they work together and start putting more “product placement” in the shows, but they’ll probably just do both.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        I think the 20 minute mark is a big issue for many – once a show I watch starts having more than 10 minutes of commercials for 30 minutes of airtime, I’m not going to watch it live. I’ll get it on netflix or on-demand later, when there are either no or fewer commercials.

    • gman863 says:

      If you have a Windows-based PC hooked up to your TV/monitor, you can stream many network shows free of charge through Windows Media Center. First run episodes are usually available about 24 hours after they aired.

      The coolest part is you usually only have one ad at the beginning of the video stream. An hour episode of Hawaii Five-0 is only 46 minutes with no commercial breaks.

  5. nybiker says:

    It has been amazing to watch the concept of ‘there is always room for one more’ get applied to the question of ‘how much non-show content can we stuff into 30 or 60 minutes’. If they are going to squeeze more non-show stuff into the blocks, then they are going to have to get the writers to write less for the shows. The police and doctor shows already solve their problems quickly and sometimes using really off-the-wall solutions (I wonder if there really all the databases that the CSI folks reference during the course of a season).
    So, will the writers get paid less since they are going to create less pages? Except for us viewers I suspect that all involved in the creation of the shows will get a raise (the SAG, DGA, CSA, WGA, & other guilds shrink ray).

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The more they tighten their grip on customers, the more they slip away.

  7. Yankees368 says:

    You can only fit so many commercials in a program that was 22 or 44 minutes long (unless the networks decrease the show length or increase the block for each show.

  8. Ayanami says:

    OK big TV, run your extra commercials. Don’t cry when more and more people “cut the cord” and watch more shows online, with less commercial time. You have to think of another way to replace that revenue. Maybe embracing internet content and increasing internet ad views instead of fighting it is the way to go. You souldn’t care how I’m watching your commericals as long as I AM watching them somehow.

  9. PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:

    I get a kick out of these people who have ZERO patience for ANY commercials. Seriously, are you that much of an ADD riddled speed freak that you can’t sit through a couple minutes of commercials? An average 30 minute long TV program, non-syndicated, is about 22 minutes long. That means less than 27% of it is commercials. I find it ironic how much commercials are loathed, considering that most of the possessions people own, they first learned about via, yep, you guessed it. Frank Stallone. I mean, commercials.

    • Alvis says:

      I don’t think I’ve -ever- first learned about a product through a TV ad.

    • nybiker says:

      Since I am old enough to remember when a 30-minute show had only 5 minutes (tops) of non-show content, I am one who has become annoyed by the amount of non-show content. The 22 minutes you speak of also includes the credits, so unless the show runs the credits over actual content, you get even less actual content. Hence the frustration.
      The early M*A*S*H episodes [and other series] (up through 1978) had approx 24 minutes of actual content plus the credits. After 1978, they, like everyone else in the race to the bottom, slowly added another minute here and another minute there and here we are today with shows of 21 or 22 minutes of run time for a 30-minute block. And what about the 31-, 61-, and 62-minute blocks? It is not like they are giving us another minute of Two and A Half Men jocularity. Nope, it’s another 60 seconds of ads.
      I understand the need for ads (not product placement) and I am willing to watch a few. But if I want to watch an infomercial, I would sign up for cable or satellite again and watch qvc.

    • no says:

      Cable Television should have zero commercials. You already pay for the channels, why are the commercial-laden?

      • Alvis says:

        Why should broadcast TV have commercials? We already let the broadcasters use huge chunks of the limited radio spectrum, owned by the public.

        • frank64 says:

          You would be taking 100% of the revenue, and they do make concessions for using the public airwaves. You want to extract too much from them.

        • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

          It costs money to broadcast, where do you suppose that money will come from if there are no commercials? We made a deal with broadcasters many years ago: they get to use the public airwaves and make a profit using commercials. In return, they are to provide entertanment, information, and news – and maintain generators and backup equipment for broadcasting in emergencies. This system has worked fairly well since the inception of broadcast TV. How much great information and entertainment has been brought to you by sponsors over the last 60 years?

          I do agree, that if you are paying for TV, you should not have to sit through commercials on pay TV networks.

          If you’re concerned about the use of the public airwaves, then it should really burn your ass that the FCC, in collusion with wireless and pay TV providers, intend to take away broadcast TV and sell the public airwaves at auction to companies that will then sell your own airwaves back to you. As already proven in many disasters, cellphone and wireless technologies are useless in an emergency – the transmitters almost never have any backup capability and are easily overwhelmed by traffic.

          • Southern says:

            Prior to 1990, most cable TV stations didn’t even charge cable companies for carrying their content; they made ALL their money from advertising (this didn’t include “premium” channels like HBO, Cinemax, etc.); most all of the “cable bill” that you paid went entirely to the cable company.

            ESPN content was even free (to the cable companies) until the early 80’s, when they, one of the first stations to start charging cable companies an “affiliate fee”, starting charging 6¢ (yes, 6 cents) per subscriber. (Today, they charge ~$3.00-4.00 per subscriber, whether you watch that station or not.) and believe it or not, SOME channels (like Fox) actually started out paying the CABLE COMPANY for the cable company to carry them, then switched over to the affiliate fee market.

            This opened the floodgates, and more and more companies started creating channels to get a piece of that “affiliate fee” pie; now not only could they make money from advertisers, but directly from the cable customer as well! A dispute between Sinclair and Time Warner is one example – http://www.sbgi.net/template/shared_content/timewarner/faq.shtml – This was in 2006. They see all these other channels making money from cable companies for carrying their signal, so they start demanding money (for something they had been providing for free for 50 years!) to boost profits.

            Even as late at 2006, most local networks (your local ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) channels were carried “Free” by the cable companies; CBS was one of the first to start charging for their “local channels”, at a cost of almost 50¢ per subscriber.

            Today, around 40% of what you pay to your cable company (for the TV portion of your bill, not including Internet, Premium stations like HBO, etc.) are passed to the content provider. As more and more stations start demanding money to cable companies to re-broadcast their (previously free) signal, your cable rates will have to increase more and more to cover it.

            Bottom line is, for years and years, advertising paid for almost everything relating to actually making TV shows; it wasn’t until the late 80’s/early 90’s, when the “Affiliate Fee” bandwagon started rolling that stations started getting money from two sources; advertisers, and the cable companies themselves (which was passed on to you). This is also when you started seeing literally dozens of new channels pop up, all trying to get some of that affiliate fee pie (Channels like Animal Planet, Court-TV, Comedy Central, etc.)

            Granted, if it weren’t for affiliate fees, and these channels had to live exclusively on advertising revenue, most of these channels probably wouldn’t exist, and we’d have many fewer channels to watch – but don’t be fooled, you ARE paying for them, and in some cases it’s pretty expensive.. But even today, not every channel on cable/satellite systems charges an affiliate fee; they still live within their advertising budget. As this changes, and they start to charge for their signal, then your (cable/satellite) rates will go up some more. This is why cable/satellite companies fight tooth and nail just for a few cents in their affiliate fee contracts, because those cents can add up to millions of dollars, and it opens the floodgates to other channels starting to want more money for THEIR signals, etc..) It’s a never ending cycle.

            • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

              Thanks for your input, Southern.

              Don’t forget the practice of “bundling” by content providers:
              “We’ll gladly sell you “The Super Happy Network” for X dollars, but you have to agree to take the “Super Crappy Network” for Y dollars, or no deal.”

              That’s how you end up paying for all those channels nobody ever watches.

      • jake.valentine says:

        Well said. My monthly cable fee would seem worth it if it meant removing commercials. As of now I question why I am paying it every month.

    • RxDude says:

      Yes, we’re “ADD riddled”. No, we don’t have a condition that is commonly treated with amphetamines. “ADD”s have become so pervasive that consumers tune them out as a sensory defense mechanism. We’re bombarded with advertising on TV, in our mailboxes, in print, on our doorsteps, at the movie theater, on our grocery receipts, on public transit, on DVD, on the radio, and of course on the internet. Advertisers track and sell your every move online and your every electronic financial transaction. You are a series of data points to be targeted by the next advertisement coming down the pike. Your existence, your daily activities, your life is a commodity to be analyzed, chopped up, and sold to advertisers.

      So, yeah, I’ll DVR shows and skip the commercials and I won’t even feel a bit guilty.

      • jake.valentine says:

        Good point. Marketing for products is almost omnipresent now. People get tired of it! I have no sympathy for some marketing exec who complains about people not watching commercials. I’ll skip whatever advertisement I can. Plus, TV is 95%+ crap now so it is less worth it to sit through any commercials.

      • jesirose says:

        @RxDude ADD = Attention Deficit Disorder. AD = short for advertisement. So the sentence “”ADD”s have become so pervasive that consumers tune them out as a sensory defense mechanism. ” makes no sense. ADD is not the problem. The ads are. Tuning them out doesn’t really work for most people, because of the way ads are made.

        @PercyChuggs Someone with ADD is more likely to be able to “sit through a couple minutes of commercials” although it has nothing to do with being on speed. It has to do with the loud attention grabbing noises, bright flashing colors, etc. In short, don’t be a dick. It’s great that you don’t mind watching ads, but since the majority of people do, maybe you’re the weird one here?

  10. masterage says:

    I find it silly that a 60-minute block for a 30-minute (ish, definitely can see a reduction of the 44-minute show) show is actually plausible in today’s market.

    Not only will they show more commercials, they’ll license less series as well…

  11. Nevada Scribbler says:

    I will watch a silent film from the 1920s on Turner Classic Movies before I will watch a non-movie channel. I don’t have Tivo or DVR or patience, so I read books … and watch TCM. I think the ratio of commercials to show is a perfect illustration of how greedy this nation is. EVERYTHING MUST BE MONETIZED. It’s sickening.
    And now, a word from my sponsor…

  12. Torchwood says:

    No NFL = More housework gets completed on Sundays.

    Now, where is that “Cancel my service” option…..

  13. joecoolest says:

    I will watch a show on a broadcast or cable channel only until the point at which they begin popping up ads over the show. I run ad blockers on the ‘net and I make the same choices when watching TV. I do not always fast forward through DVR commercials as I often use them for “breaks” to allow me to refill a drink and such. Sometimes normal commercials are even a bit entertaining (at least the first few thousand times I see them).

    Also, channels that run the continuous “overlay” advertisements along side their channel logo overlay have been blocked from my cable box/DVR using the parental control block feature. Which reminds me to not revisit that channel even if I happen to see something that peaks my interest listed in the channel guide. Admittedly, my channel surfing choices have become quite limited, but in reality I’m better off in the long run since I am wasting less time AND not being subjected to advertising apparently designed to imprint itself into my retina.

    • nybiker says:

      DingDingDing. Finally, someone else who agrees with me. When I still had my directv account, I not only gave up Showtime and Starz because they slapped their logos on the screen, but I also stopped watching discovery as they started putting promos for upcoming shows or new episodes. I stopped watching NBC (also known as the olympic channel) when they started putting up text next to their peacock and the rings. The last I saw of the Travel Channel, I actually got out a ruler to measure the height of the text on the screen. I never watched anything on BBC America since they put their logo, the name of the current show, and an ad for an upcoming show all on the screen at the same time.
      As for online ads, there’s no reason for a 30-second ad in front of a 1- or 2-minute video report. Just tell me the report is brought to me by so-and-so.

      • frank64 says:

        Yeah, many stations really seem to want to make viewing their station as unpleasant as possible, then they wonder why we find another way to watch.

  14. TasteyCat says:

    So when the NFL is repaying this money (that they were stupid enough to agree to pay in the first place), does that mean less commercials in the future?

  15. RxDude says:

    Football is about the only thing I watch live. Longer commercial breaks in other shows just means I’ll have to hit the “skip” button a few more times.

  16. denros says:

    I like to think of a “perfect storm” scenario in which Bud Bowl supplants the superbowl in full-length, 3 hour format complete with multi-million dollar commercials and halftime show.

  17. Foot_Note says:

    do tv stations really need? a reason to add more ads?

  18. danic512 says:

    Uh, couldn’t these channels pay for insurance to cover the $4 Billion in case no games are aired? Companies in every other industry mitigate risk in this manner after all.

  19. umbriago says:

    How could you possibly cram more commercials into one hour when programming is 40-42 minutes of that hour?

    OK, I get it: of course there’s room. But what really suffers is storytelling. It seems like, for episodic shows like Hawaii 5-0 (versus continuing soap operas like, for example, Friday Night Lights), there’s not enough room to develop a decent story anymore.

    My guess is that, someday, for a show like Hawaii 5-0, a network will:
    – increase the show to 45 minutes of actual program
    – increase the commercials to 45 minutes of time slot

    That cuts costs for CBS because they only have to purchase/produce/come up with two shows a night instead of three, and increases revenue because they’ll have more ad time to sell.

    Or 40 minutes of programming versus 50 commercials!! Hey CBS, et al, just send me 2% of your increased revenue and you can have my idea.

    It seems incredible that in the old days of network radio, seasons used to be 39 weeks. What a laugh.

  20. dragonfire81 says:

    You folks realize that there needs to be commercials to have shows right? All you “I just skip all the commercials!” people apparently lack understanding of television economics. Advertising revenue is practically the ONLY way TV stations make money. If people stop watching ads en masse, the advertisers pull their money out and no money means no TV shows.

    • Judah says:

      There are no need for commercials to air shows. The public owns the radio spectrum the shows are broadcast over, AND the shows are later sold as boxsets for additional revenue. Also, do you pay for cable?

      As far as I’m concerned they should make commercials illegal and be done with them.

      • frank64 says:

        That would kill broadcast TV and double the cost of cable.

        Commercials are needed, but not so damn many.

        • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

          Exactly. No commercials would kill broadcast TV.
          If you kill broadcast TV, pay TV has no competition, and would raise prices through the roof. So even if you don’t give a rats ass about commercials and broadcast TV, it’s in your best interest for it to not only survive, but prosper. Did you know, that out of the top 200 shows on TV, 197 of them are from broadcast networks, produced with money from sponsors?

          I agree that something needs to be done about TV commercials. Damn annoying – I don’t need to SEE an animation of how “Colon Blow” works while eating a snack, nor do I want the late Billy Mays SCREAMING AT ME AT FULL VOLUME. A bit of regulatory finesse from the FCC could help out here, along with some volume leveling technology from the TV makers, since advertisers just don’t seem to get it.

          So, if you have your way, understand that when commercials go away, broadcast TV goes away, the airwaves you THINK the public owns will be sold to the highest bidder to be sold back to you, and Pay TV will then have free reign and charge you whateverthehell they want.

          And I, for one, DO NOT welcome our new Kabel town overlords.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        The public owns the spectrum. Tell THAT to the FCC.

        How do YOU propose to pay the costs of broadcasting – electric, construction, saleries, equipment, and content, without commercials?

        I anxiously await your proposal.

    • Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

      By extension then, the only way they make money is if you buy the products being hawked on these commercials. Do you have a notebook next to the couch to write down the products to buy?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Oh, if there were only some kind of public television stations that would take donations and not show commercials, or if some countries could have national broadcasting companies that could create quality shows and not show commercials….

      Oh, wait, those exist. Nice try, though.

  21. JF says:

    Well, just another reason I am now glad I dropped cable TV.

  22. framitz says:

    I have no interest in watching Football on TV.
    I seem to filter out commercials by sleeping, most times, I wake up when the show comes back on.
    I watch less and less commercial TV anyway, so I’m not all that bothered by the commercials.

    I do like those commercials that are so entertaining that I forget what they’re selling by the time it’s over.

  23. TKOtheKDR says:

    When I think of the length of commercial breaks, all I can think about is Chuck Woolery on Love Connection saying, “We’ll be back in two [minutes] and two [seconds].”

  24. Johnny Longtorso says:

    All this article did was remind me how much I liked the lemon-flavored Pepsi.

  25. KillerBee says:

    Ever watch a movie on FX? They can take a 1.5 hour movie and stretch it into a three-hour marathon thanks to onerous commercial breaks. Breaks which are weighted heavily toward the end of the movie when you are totally invested in the film and too hooked to change the channel.

    Bastards.

  26. KhaiJB says:

    they run shows now? damn they get in the way of the adverts…

  27. LadyTL says:

    Longer ad times are going to kill the half hour long show.

  28. Mr_D says:

    Bars will take a hit, as I’m sure a lot of their business on Sundays and Monday nights comes from football.

  29. frank64 says:

    What I can’t understand is why advertisers have been going along with it. It is diluting the value of the what they pay for. So many people are sick of the commercials that they DVR or don’t watch. The example some have given about FX and other stations is even worse. sitting through what, 45 minutes of commercials every 2 hours? Yes, commercials are the cost of watching but the cost has been increasing and it is right to question the cost. Another “price” increase and many more will make adjustments.

  30. FilthyHarry says:

    I would like to offer the networks a deal where I will offer no football games for them to broadcast and they will only have to pay me 2 billion.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      I would like to offer the networks a deal where I will offer no football games for them to broadcast and they will only have to pay me 2 million. You’ve been underbid!

  31. KyBash says:

    I’m not cheating anyone out of anything when I use my DVR to skip commercials because obviously I’m not meant to watch the shows I like — 94.7% of the ads are aimed at another gender, age, or income demographic.

    The only commercials which stand a chance of getting me to buy something are those on TCM.

  32. gman863 says:

    I suspect producers and networks will start doing a lot more “product placement” in TV programs to avoid the dreaded TiVo skip button.

    James Bond films are a classic example: Between the cars, watches, Sony-branded gadgets and roadside billboards featured in chase scenes, 007 really has a license to sell.

    Hawaii Five-0 (although a great show) is also a good case study. Add one more car shot per episode and it might as well be retitled Chevrolet Five-0.

    Football? It wouldn’t surprise me if the networks found a way to superimpose a sponsor’s logo onto the turf during the game.

    • jake.valentine says:

      2 and a Half Men is another one that does heavy product placement. Look around the kitchen if you ever watch it. They go to the kitchen in EVERY episode it seems to show off some product perfectly placed with its label facing the camera.

  33. jake.valentine says:

    The Eagles are out of the playoffs, so its time to cut the cable cord. I’m going to try hooking up a computer via HDMI and stream the few tv shows we enjoy watching. $120 a month now for hundreds of channels and it seems like nothing interesting is ever on.

  34. LastError says:

    DirecTV: you’ll pay for football whether you like it or not.
    Me: Your dish is currently in the back of a garbage truck. It’s slightly dented. Enjoy.

    I don’t pay for Season Ticket because I don’t want the damn football. I won’t pay for it. I don’t want it. I have had it with fees for bundling in crap like this.

    The best part about having a TV is turning it off. Everybody else loses but me.

  35. JeremieNX says:

    I am nearly at one full year of being cable-free. Paid $140 a month for the basic “triple play” package. This further reinforces the fact that I don’t regret it at all. I have a nifty Sony box that plugs me directly into Netflix, Hulu, and about 50 other online video services. I have zero interest in watching “first run” shows as most TV produced in the last 15ish years is pure crap, but I do have an antenna in the closet in case I have that rare urge to watch something live on broadcast TV. Since cutting the cord, I have saved over $1000 and have watched exactly zero commercials.

    Disclose: I have zero interest in national pro sports for pretty much the reason outlined in this article: It’s a rip-off and it seems the consumer gets fleeced at every turn.

  36. sj_user1 says:

    Networks run more commercials; I fast forward through more commercials. Or wait for it to come out on Netflix.

  37. VectorVictor says:

    You know, I never put this together, but it makes sense now–the NFL lockout is likely one of the key reasons Fox has been getting money together to try and outbid ABC/ESPN/Disney and CBS for Big 10/Pac-12 and SEC NCAA football TV rights, respectively when they come up in the next two years.

    NCAA football is #2 in viewership, right behind NFL football, and there’s a much larger inventory and more passionate fans. Not to mention the lack of a playoff does significantly heighten the importance of season games.

    These networks can’t be completely stupid–they know running that long of ad breaks will either push more people to use online services and/or DVRs to skip commercials, or they’ll just tune out altogether. Getting the partial or full inventories of the three most significant conferences in college football would certainly help Fox protect itself financially against any potential NFL (or MLB, for that matter) lockouts.

  38. damicatz says:

    Players unions are the biggest joke in history. It’s not like they need more money. They are getting paid ridiculous sums of money to kick a ball around like some primitive caveman while most Americans are trying to make ends meet doing real work.

    The most amazing thing is that, despite all the money they make, so many still manage to go bankrupt. I guess it doesn’t take much intelligence to play football or basketball; if I made millions of dollars a year, I’d invest the money (and donate a substantial portion to worthy causes as well) rather than spending it on bling and rides.

    As for the National Felons League, screw them. Drop them from television. Only a cartel could organize a deal where they get paid even if they don’t deliver a product. So called “pro sports” have been jacking up my cable bill for far too long.

    • MrEvil says:

      I agree that pro athletes are often overpaid and bitchy. Not all of them are, and in some cases their desire for high pay is justified. There is evidence acquired from examinations of donated brain tissue of former players that shows that each hit a football player takes has a cumulative and lasting effect on their brains. Effects that result in problems like Parkinson’s, Depression, and even symptoms similar to soldiers experiencing PTSD. Sure we don’t NEED football players, but it’s not like we NEED crab fishermen either.

  39. Papa Bear says:

    Television advertising is going to be the ruin of TV. Realistically, ask yourself the last time you bought anything simply because you saw an ad on TV for it. As a matter of fact, ask yourself when a TV ad even remotely influenced a purchase.

    I’d bet I haven’t watched an ad in 2 years and I’d be willing to bet that my great-nephew will barely know what a TV ad is by the time he is at an age to make buying decisions. On the other hand, older Baby Boomers and their parents were more geared toward the novelty of TV advertising and far more influenced by it. It’s not a novelty anymore, though, it’s an annoyance.

    In the modern world, the vast majority of buying decisions are being made because of information available on the web. As the TV generation’s, i.e., Baby Boomers, buying power declines with their incomes as they retire, fewer and fewer people will be influenced by TV advertising.

    Boomers are a generation of immediate gratification. TV advertisers know that, and for years have keyed in on that. Although technically I’m a boomer, I was born at the end of it and really don’t see myself as one, nor do friends of my age relate to boomer thinking well. Our kids and grand kids are even far less oriented toward the quick-sell and tend to use the info available on the Internet to make their decisions. They see TV as a source of entertainment, not information.

    As advertising bites into that entertainment, the kids will go elsewhere for it. The end result will be lower viewership which equates to lost ad revenue which equates to the demise of TV. So, unless advertisers and networks wake up and change their ways, they will be going broke.

  40. AngryK9 says:

    NCIS is *only* program that I will watch. I will not turn the television on for anything else, and even NCIS gets DVR’d since I work two jobs and am usually asleep when it’s aired, so I skip right through the ads. There is little point in watching television, listening to the radio, buying a newspaper, or subscribing to a magazine. All you are paying for is advertisement.

    • jesirose says:

      “listening to the radio”

      I only listen to AM talk radio. It’s FILLED with ads – but it’s free. :) So I’m not paying anything.
      What I do pay for is the podcast of the show, without the ads.

  41. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    This seems to me to be a self-destructing feedback loop…

    More ads on live TV means more people ditching live TV in favor of online streaming, Netflix, even DVR to avoid the commercials.

    Because of that, there is less viewership on each commercial…ergo, each commercial is worth less money because it has less eyes on it – it would follow that advertisers will pay less and less for each commercial spot.

    Because each commercial spot brings in less revenue, the networks have to sell more ads – more ads means less actual programming, and less actual programming + more ads = even more people switching to DVR, online streaming, Netflix, etc.

    Repeat ad infinitum.

    I get that OTA broadcasts are free, and therefore need to be supported by advertising. What I don’t get is why there has to be so much advertising on paid TV services – cable and satellite. Consumers don’t appreciate having to pay for the privilege of being sold to.

    Somebody needs to realize that if they cut back the advertising spots to something more palatable to the consumer base, more consumers would sit through those ads – and those ads would then be worth considerably more to the advertiser, and they’d pay more for it.

    If you try to sell 10 minutes of ads in a 30-minute program for, say, $100,000 each and realize you’re driving away a large portion of your viewership, cut that in half and sell 5 minutes of ads for $200,000 each and see your viewership come back. Everybody wins and nobody loses.

    • smartmuffin says:

      Well, without all the ads, cable/satellite rates would skyrocket. People ALSO complain when that happens. Or some channels would get dropped/eliminated, ALSO a frequent consumer complaint. It’s just a no-win situation, really. Either you’re going to have to watch ads, you’re going to have to pay more, or you’re going to get less service. Pick your poison.

  42. smartmuffin says:

    Is this based on anything whatsoever other than speculation by the author? Anything? Do you have ANY evidence at all that talks of doing this are in the works other than “they’ll lose money and here’s one way they might make it back?”

    You know what else might happen. The presidents of the networks might break into your house late at night and steal your kidneys! They can also make money that way.

  43. AllanG54 says:

    So…it just means you get less of Snooki and the Situation. You’ll live. And if you don’t…they can profile you on 1000 Ways to Die.

  44. jtrain says:

    Here are a few good articles pertaining to this topic:
    http://www.cracked.com/funny-2468-nfl-games/ – what you are actually seeing in a typical NFL broadcast

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-2466-nfl-broadcast/

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18784_6-reasons-nfl-trashiest-reality-show-tv.html

    To me, no Football on TV isn’t a total loss (and I played up through college), most of them are a bunch of overpaid babies that complain about how much money they make. I too agree that I would love to see the show i actually DVR instead of the show that got pushed into that slot by a football game that always runs over.

    On a tangent,*climbing on to soap box* a few ways to shorten the game to a reasonable length would be:
    1. Remove instant replays & Challenges – hey refs are people too and their judgment on the field should be final. This gives the game the “unpredictable” effect

    2. Revise the rules/penalties (and get rid of lots of them) to get football back to football. This is a hard hitting, violent sport, so play it that way. None of this “don’t tackle the QB too hard” penalty or penalties for grazing the kickers leg….ect. Man up and play the sport like it should be played

    3. No commercial time outs. If you want to see the game uninterrupted, either get off your duff and go buy a ticket or by a PPV.

    4. Shorten the Halftime period

    *Climbing down off soap box*

    • BlazerUnit says:

      Football players are not overpaid. If you really played, you’d never say such a thing.

      Remember this fact when there’s a lockout a few weeks/days/hours after the Super Bowl ends: How many billionaire quarterbacks or linebackers have asked cities and states for new tax-payer build stadiums?

      ǝuou :ɹǝʍsuɐ ǝɥʇ

  45. gman863 says:

    If the NFL stages a lockout, networks could make up the revenue by showing soft-core gay porn flicks.

    Sweaty men in tights and shoulder pads – some called “tight ends” – reaching under each others legs and piling on top of each other.

    And this would be different from football….how?