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Network TV - Close To A Tipping Point

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by unixfish, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    As some of you probably have noticed, I like to analyze and quantify things. A lot.

    One thing I do is count commercials as I skip over them on recorded TV. The trend is ugly.

    History. My wife and I use to like "The Big Bang Theory". Well, she liked all of it, I thought it went downhill after season 6. Beside the point. As a result, we started watching "Young Sheldon". Not bad, cute characters, but nothing great either.

    We add these to our library on YouTubeTV. This way, we can skip over commercials when we watch it a day or two after it airs. Of course, I count how many times I have to hit the skip forward button and started to realize:

    Oh my [deity of your choice] - we are 50 / 50 show and commercials!

    So, today I put the last episode on, and marked down the time whenever previously on..., show, commercials, and next week on... started.

    Last week's episode was 30:54, all in; almost 31 minutes long. Here are the stats:
    • Last week on Young Sheldon, next week on Young Sheldon: 1:00
    • Commercials: 12:52
    • Actual show: 17:02
    Not quite 50 / 50, but getting really close. If this were only a 30 minute show, it may have been 16:14, or 53.3% to 46.7%.

    I have been seeing on-line how network TV is struggling; they are losing viewers to streaming services. To help combat this, they have started their own streaming services. Makes sense. However, to pay for production costs of free broadcast TV, they are also cutting down on the program time, and adding more commercials. Gen-Z and Millenials will not sit and watch commercials - this is why they stream (or one of the reasons anyway). Gen-X and Boomers walk away from commercials, and push back. The result? The networks are biting the hands that feed them.

    You would think it would make more sense to put on longer shows (longer per time block), have less commercials, and have those advertisers pay more for that slot. Less commercials would mean each one would have a larger impact. I don't pretend to know the economic model of broadcast TV, but that would make sense to me.

    I remember the first shows that started showing 10 commercials in a commercial break. Those seemed to last forever back in the 80s / 90s. Now we have breaks of 6 to 7 minutes. In 'Murica, some of these are three minute long commercials for prescription drugs (another pet peeve, another topic, another time).

    I predict - nee hope - that when some show finally tips that 50 / 50 mark, the public will just move on and walk away. That will be the only action that seems will get the network's attention.

    Am I wrong?
     
  2. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    No, you're not wrong. I don't watch network tv apart from some 'on demand' stuff via the interweb. The only thing actually connected to my tv these days is a Chromecast.

    While I lack the ability/patience to do the calculations, I know that there seem to be a metric shedload of commercials these days, and I keep the mute button handy.

    I doubt that anyone actually pays any attention to them, I certainly haven't since about 1986. This was one of the main drivers behind the whole 'torrenting' issue, it wasn't so much about avoiding paying for programs, just avoiding the adverts (allegedly, of course...)

    I honestly don't understand how the advertising still works, given that most people seem to actively avoid or ignore it.
     
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  3. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    When I was young in the 50’s and early 60’s for a one hour show there was a one minute commercial at the beginning of the show, another one minute one at the 15 minute mark and two one minute ones at the half hour, another one minute commercial at the 45 minute mark and another one minute one at the end of the show. So, 6 minutes of commercials per one hour show, 54 minutes of show per hour. During those times network TV was all we had, but at least we weren’t stuck with a bunch of ‘reality’ shows.

    Now during baseball games you even get half screen commercials between hitters and during mound visits.
     
  4. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    We watch a lot of cable, mostly crime network stuff like ID and Oxygen, but also some HGTV and Food Network. We record and skip the commercials. Sometimes, we watch on demand, and mostly you can also fast forward, but not always.

    I am annoyed that a lot of new content is on their new streaming networks, which they advertise repeatedly. I'm not going to pay for their special streaming network, period. I don't know what they're thinking.

    I'm a Gen-Xer, by the way.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  5. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That is an irritation of mine as well. Produce a bunch of poo, then have a good show or two you reserve for the streaming network. How many streaming services does anyone want to subscribe to before it is beyond the price of cable that everyone is walking away from because of the cost?

    Oh - and yeah - I'm a boomer - barely. Born right before the cutoff.
     
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  6. thechad

    thechad Tele-Holic

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    I remember an interview with jerry seinfeld/larry david talking about how it got harder to fit the story in a single episode when the networks cut the show time from 23 minutes to 21 minutes or something like that. Don't forget product placement in shows as a "built in commercial" as well.
    My guess would be that people cutting their cable and getting just streaming shows means less money for tv networks and maybe drives the need for more commercials? hard to say.
    I bet it is more annoying for the show writers than it is for the viewers
     
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  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    if you skip over the commercials, you aren't watching them. The networks can't charge for them. So, the networks make the poor slobs that watch live watch twice as many and you are blaming the networks?

    If you don't pay for a quality product, can you expect one? When you buy the 100.00 kit guitar do you blame the manufacturer for not being a fender made instrument?

    If everyone would watch the commercials they would be 8 mins out of 30. Because you (like many) don't, they have to double up to even it up.

    So, if they quit doing the commercials and just go to an app, other posters won't pay for the quality product because it costs.

    hows that for analysis and quantification...

    we have a crappy world because we are crappy.
     
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  8. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    I think you have a point: I just hit a personal "tipping point" over this very thing, trying to watch network news. And I felt like it was already at 50/50, programming vs. ads. One more thing that helped put me over the edge was that they spend more time on teasers for a story than they ultimately spend on the actual story. Network TV has been so awash with crap that I rarely watched it anyway (a few good comedies excepted), but yeah, now I'm all about streaming. Instead of passively watching what the networks or cable channels decide to dish up, I can actively seek programming I'm actually interested in or entertained by. Don't spend much on it either, significantly cheaper than cable.
     
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  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    It started getting stupid years ago.

    In 2007 I stopped watching TV. These days, the only time I sit in front of the flickering lightbox is when I'm at someone else's house, or if I'm in a hotel on travel.

    I truly do not miss it.
     
  11. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

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    People still watch TV?
     
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  12. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Interesting stats. Network TV has been pretty unwatchable for us since we had Direct TV and a TiVo box c. 2000 to 2006. Since then we cut the cord, and watch things that are on demand or that can be 'recorded' on a 'cloud DVR.' I think the only network things we watch now are some sports. Our household hardly watches any TV, though. Big time sink, and too much other good stuff to do.
     
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  13. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry, but ... no. I am a firm capitalist, and a realist. @unixfish raises a valid point, in that we used to get fairly high quality product with limited advertising and today we get unwatchable commercial content. It's because the profit margins have gone elsewhere. The profit motive knows no bounds - other than losing the market. Remember that cable started as an alternative to commercials!!! Ha - that's obviously laughable now.
     
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  14. Pcs264

    Pcs264 TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

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    If network television had completely ceased to exist sometime during the past three years, at our house we wouldn't have noticed.
     
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  15. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm on the the later edge of the Gen-X cutoff, but it seems the years are debatable anyway. My dad was born in '46, an early Boomer. My folks married in '69 and waited 8 years to have kids.
     
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  16. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Saying stuff like this out loud has done a number on my social life.
     
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  17. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Afflicted

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    There were channels such as HBO that had no commercials, but in the 1980s, cable channels like MTV, VH1, A&E, USA Network, etc. had just as many commercials as (over the air) network TV did back then.
     
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  18. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    On this forum, I have heard over and over where some of us go try out at the brick and mortar stores to find what we like. THEN, look for the best deal online and order from another source. On this same forum, I've heard over and over folks lamenting that the brick and mortar stores are closing. Gee, how could that be? Over and over we take careful aim at our foot in so many ways, and then just as carefully pull the trigger and are surprised at how much it hurts. The same can be said of Television. I have said on this forum, I simply can't understand how the various media companies that supply us with endless drivel can continue to do so without charging us in some way. One of these days, it's bound to come to an end. I won't be surprised at all if in the future we might even have to go to a theater and PAY to see a movie. What a novel idea, it would be like it was 1952 again.
     
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  19. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Friend of Leo's

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    I thought network tv was for trapped rural people with antennas? I truly think it must be horrible and aren’t commercials probably more wholesome?
    I can’t remember watching network tv? Early 2000’s?
     
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  20. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    And, as soon as Netflix, Amazon, and the others have completely eliminated the networks and cable providers, don't think for an instant that they won't jack up the cost to whatever exorbitant amount they want to.
    I'm sticking with cable. It's a known entity, and I like it, and the vast number of channels available to me.
     
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