TV networks load up on commercials

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The number of commercials in the typical hour of television has grown steadily during the last five years, according to a new study from the ratings measurement firm Nielsen.

The rise in commercials can be attributed to two factors: Broadcast and cable networks are allotting more time for commercials, and advertisers are increasingly using shorter spots to hawk their products.

In 2009, the broadcast networks averaged 13 minutes and 25 seconds of commercial time per hour. In 2013, that figure grew to 14 minutes and 15 seconds. The growth has been even more significant on cable television. In 2009, cable networks averaged 14 minutes and 27 seconds per hour. In 2013, the average was 15 minutes and 38 seconds. At the same time, the number of 30-second commercials has declined while 15-second spots have increased. Not only is more time being devoted to ads, but more spots are being jammed into commercial breaks.


TV networks load up on commercials