Commercials and the Odds

I have to admit it. I do tend to get my news from CNN. But I’m getting less and less enchanted with CNN, not because of the “slant” of the news, because all news sources have a slant, but because, with the new head of CNN, not only are there layoffs, but there are more and more commercials. That’s likely because CNN’s parent company – Warner Bros-Discovery – wants to squeeze more revenue out of CNN at a time when fewer people are watching CNN. That’s despite the fact that Warner Bros-Discovery’s gross profits for the fiscal year ending in September were $11.4 billion, an increase of 58% over the previous year.

Now, I don’t see that cramming more ads into a profitable news network that’s already losing viewers is going to do anything to increase viewers. If you’re looking for news and only finding more commercials, that’s not going to maintain viewership.

But this trend is everywhere, the latest being Netflix and Amazon Prime cutting commercials into movies that used to be commercial-free. Supposedly, one of the attractions of Netflix and Prime was the lack of commercials.

I’m not a sports fanatic, but on brief breaks from writing on Saturdays and Sundays [yes, I write on Sundays and every other day], I’ll channel-surf the football games or in basketball season, the college games, but I’m doing that less and less as well.


Because even though my satellite system may have three or four games on at the same time, there are more and more times when all four games have a series of commercials on at the same time, and there are more of them that last longer. How the various networks manage to synchronize this inability to avoid commercials I have no idea, unless it happens that they’re paying the athletic bodies for more commercial slots. And if I’m seeking a brief look at a game in progress, I’d like to see a game in progress, not a series of commercials, especially since the satellite service is already charging me for access (not that I have much choice, living 200 miles and a mountain range from the nearest metro area).

But then, the biggest corporations are locked into a mindset of grubbing for higher and higher profits, even when it’s counterproductive… and possibly likely to precipitate greater government regulation, about which they’ll bitch even when their actions have invited it.

4 thoughts on “Commercials and the Odds”

  1. Sandie says:

    I don’t watch much tv… 30 min in the morning while I run on the treadmill.. that is it, but I thought I had noticed the same increase in comercials. I get most of my news and weather info on my phone, and What I have also seen, is a change in the location of the x to turn off the adds, requiring extra time to locate it, so more time spent with the add visible… sneaky!

  2. Tim says:

    I expect CNN may be adopting the YouTube model. You used to be able to skip ads but that changed over a year ago, which could mean 1 minute of ads before the video.

    Unless you signed up for Youtube Premium of course (ad-free and some music thrown in), which is what I eventually did at £12 a month as the ads irritated me so much.

    I never use the music as it is streamed at lowish quality. So I pay a subscription only to get rid of the ads.

    Clever marketing. So will there be an ad-free CNN premium or are the news feeds in real time?

  3. Ronald Maurer says:

    One of the problems is that the contract with the advertiser says that they will X amount of viewers. When they don’t get that number, the network has to give them free time to make up that number or refund the payment. With declining viewers, that means they are giving more and more time to make up advertising., since they aren’t going to refund any $. Which doesn’t do anything for increasing profits and costs the network more viewers as they tune out due to all the commercials.

    1. John Prigent says:

      I simply don’t watch anything on the commercial channels. Though even the ‘ad-free’ BBC insists upon adding its own ads between programmes nowadays, as well as showing far too much sport, so I tend to only watch the news and then go back to my collection of over 1,000 good books. It sounds as though your North American time-wasters are as bad as our UK ones.

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