Commercial Networks Want More Ads

Hands up if what you've been holding out for from Australia's commercial free to air networks was more commercials.

The SMH reports that the CEOs of Seven and Nine are lobbying to have the limit raised on commercial advertising during prime time to twenty minutes per hour.

Currently they're allowed 13 minutes per hour in prime time, but that doesn't include in-house advertising including direct channel promotions or advertising for other programs, which is why ad breaks in prime time can often seem to go on for much longer than you'd think.

It's not all harmony on the advertising front, however. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has indicated that he wouldn't move to shift the advertising goal posts unless there's accord from all the networks that this is what they want, and Channel Ten's indicated that it would oppose such a move citing a fear of consumer backlash as well as the fact that it wouldn't attract the same kind of ad rates as Seven or Nine due to ratings differences.


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    I stopped watching free to air because of the advertisements. People will notice an additional seven minutes.

    Sounds to me like they're trying to push us all into 'net TV.

      I stopped watching free to air because of the their content.

      Ads are the reason I'm not willing to subscribe to Hulu, and they have an awful lot less ads than free-to-air.

      It's exactly what they want. They can't monitor what people watch on conventional TV, they can better monetize net TV though.

    I watch more content on Youtube then free to air these days , mainly because of availability but ads contribute.

    The only thing my free to air is used to watch is occasional sport and the mrs watches reality crap, but even she complains about the ads.

      There are more ads on Youtube than Free to Air TV. You may have an adblocker getting rid of them though :p.

        No I deal with the ads because that is paying the people to make quality content.
        I watch youtube more because it's there when I want to watch it and the content is more enjoyable and actually HD !
        I didn't buy a $2500 HDTV to watch shitty shows in SD haha

        Now if my internet could get faster I would enjoy it even more :D

          The new youtube TV app rolling out is actually pretty awesome too. Loving it on the Xbox One, much better than the old PS3 style app they had.

    I bet they'll blame piracy for needing more ad revenue.

      Well, piracy has likely impacted FTA advertising earnings greatly (who is going to pay for ads if no-one is watching), as well as people moving to pay TV. However there will probably still be a percentage of people who are not going to move to pay TV or have any idea what piracy even is, and its these people who they are planning on overloading with ads.

    everyone is going to the internet and a free subscription based services how can we compete? more ads!

    this is why Foxtel and their recording IQ is great - record - have dinner - you know TALK to eachother and Voila ! ad free TV waiting for you the other side. (with some handy fastforwarding)

      all for the low low price of $100+ per month and your soul

      Last edited 25/08/14 1:36 pm

      Lol at foxtel, there's as many ads on foxtel as fta tv.

        That's why I never got it, mates had forced and seemed like more ads that free to air. I was more or less "so you're paying to watch ads"

      You know there are PVR's on free to air too? In fact some that don't have freeview branding actually have ad skipping technology built in.

      gosh - really ? you cant have an opinion without being scorched ? i get all the high end sports and films for about $100. I cant watch EPL easily any other way and the film channels show some odd stuff i'd never had known about like Samsara for instance. I get BBC knowledge, history and those funky Geo programmes when its handy to sleep awake ! and showcase - is $100 that bad ?

      So, you're going to make a digital copy of a movie and watch it later. Isn't that the definition of pirating. Pirating using foxtel IQ recorder. Isn't it foxtel that's complaining about people pirating movies but they have a machine that facilitates pirating. A bit of a double standard I think

        It's only piracy if you don't pay foxtel.
        Like, if you pay Netflix, for example. That's piracy. ...Apparently.

          You can buy DVR's that can record free to air TV but no one is saying anything about that either. As for foxtel, you can also record free to air TV. That's TV that foxtel has not paid any royalties on. That is still pirating.

            That was the joke. Foxtel's CEO wrote an impassioned open letter which accused Australians who pay Netflix of being pirates.

        No, that's not piracy, the copyright act allows for it. Foxtel know that you recorded it and include it in the viewer numbers they give to their advertisers. In fact, those figures would be used even if you record a program but never actually watch it.

      Alternatively, queue up 50+hrs of new series that look interesting and you've heard great things about but don't watch and don't delete out of guilt, and a further 80+ hrs of Simpsons that you watch before, during, and after dinner.

    what is this arcane ad free version of foxtel about which you speak?

    Last edited 25/08/14 1:44 pm

      hey not ad free - didn't mean that (on reflection i see what it must have read like) - just fast forwarded ads - oh my - i can see me being sin binned for having a Foxtel sub .... lol

    I stopped watching years ago, best thing ever. Can't stand free TV at all, especially the news programs.

    commercials... can't live with them, can't live without them.

      Going off-topic: I do wonder sometimes what the real return on ads are. For example, if we as consumers were directly charged more rather than having pre-movie ads (for a moment ignoring that cinemas will charge us the maximum we will bear and show ads) I wonder how much that would bump up the price. Likewise, with ads on pay TV: how much more would subscribers have to pay in order to offset the return that the pay TV company gets for those ads.

      The return on ads on the net is so incredibly low that it makes me wonder just how much we'd need to pay in order to totally offset the income made from those ads. There is the critical problem of how to pay when you only view one page on site X, one on site Y, etcetera, and so subscribing to particular sites makes little sense. However, I'd love to know just how much it would cost each user to entirely replace the ad revenue.

        I work in the media field and the TV stations aren't making much money from ads any more. The bottom has fallen out of the ad market. Everyone is doing it hard. Our media company is shifting to advertising on taxis here in Melbourne because our other sources of revenue is drying up.

    and, what will happen to the shows? get cut down even more?

    I don't hate ads, but I do hate too many ads, and ads bloody yelling at me. I subscribe to Hulu Plus, and generally find myself paying more attention to the adverts, because they're better made than Australian ads, and the same damn volume as the show!

    On free to air TV, I either record and fast forward, or just say "xbox mute" and totally ignore the ads, because if I don't then I'll get a headache from how loud they are combined with the general low quality of recorded sound in adverts in this country.

    Go on commercial stations. Put more adverts in, cut more of shows to fit them in. I dare you, and watch everyone with an internet connection under the age of 35 disappear overnight.

      The ad volume is a huge aspect that encourages me to fast forward in recorded shows and to mute live ones. There's supposed to be rules for their volume levels, but clearly they don't work.

      When watching at night, they are loud enough to startle and I quickly reach for the remote to mute them before they wake the kids!

    Hmmm... From what I can see there's a five minute ad every five minutes... how's adding more ads going to get more people to watch FTA now..?

    What I find amusing is that you can stream prime time viewing online in HD (albeit only 720p) and without ads at all.

    Wouldn't it be nice if the popular shows were actually broadcast in HD in the first place?

    I still watch FTA as there is plenty of good content still available, especially Australian content which you can't find on Hulu/Netflix.

    If you dislike ads so much, buy a PVR and start watching the show half an hour after it has started.

    I've just cancelled Hulu - this is run by the US networks are attempting to rip off overseas customers by blocking access from VPNs. Even though this is easily avoided it's still morally wrong, We are paying customers at a price we should be getting here in Australia. I'd rather pirate what I need outside of FTA. If they want to steal from paying customers by denying them a service then paying customers will go elsewhere.

    Foxtel has it's own issues, mostly that Foxtel Go only works on Samsung & Apple devices, and a restricted version, such as no AFL (foxtel play) is available on PC/Mac. Give us the same channels on every device and i'll reactivate my account.

    Last edited 25/08/14 3:22 pm

    Yeah I'll stick with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, the ABC and a smattering of SBS every now and then thanks.

    Stop complaining about ads people. If it wasn't for ads, everything would be more expensive. Free to air would not be free anymore, apps for your phone and tablets would not be free anymore, foxtel would be more expensive and so on and so on. Yes we hate ads but we need them so stop your bitching.

      yep :) but they don't need to cram 20-40 ads into a single show. they don't need to jack the volume up. etc etc

      but they still do.

      and don't jump on the "the ads aren't louder" BS :) if i can hear them from my kitchen when i couldn't hear the program then they are louder.

      As for the Fuxtel Pricing... fuck that. Fuxtel could play only ads 24/7 and it would cost more. if i can get Hulu for $7 a month with maybe about 2 minutes for ads per program then how do you explain the 10 minute commercial break every 5 minutes on Fuxtels $120+ subscription??

      Last edited 25/08/14 4:19 pm

        Oh yeah. I hate that ads are louder. They are not supposed to be and there is a law stating that they shouldn't be but every so often they push the boundaries and the commercials get louder. Eventually someone with power complains and the ads become quieter again.

      33% of the prime time content on tv will be ads. 33%. And that's just paid ads. You don't think that's a bit much? Imagine an app where 33% of the screen was taken up by an ad, then the developer uses an extra 10% of the screen to advertise another app they've developed.
      I bet you'd love that, yeah?

        Yes it's too much. I don't disagree but without ads, companies will have to find a way to make that money back and that will just mean the consumer will have to pay more. That's just how business works.

          I don't think anyone is suggesting that they remove ads altogether (somebody might have...), but that it's getting to be ridiculous. They're taking 55-60 minute shows and condensing them to fit into 35-40 minutes. Then they're producing shows based on this model. So, we're getting 35 minutes of Top Gear but 2 hours of Australia's big idol talent loser because they can mould the show around the ads. How many times have you heard, "We'll give you the results shortly. *ads* We promise we'll give you the results shortly. *ads* One last ad break and we'll give you the results. *ads*"?

          Personally, I'd prefer they condense the 55 minute show into 45-50 minutes (if they insist on condensing shows at all) and have longer breaks between shows. A little like SBS used to do, but with short ad breaks during the show itself.

            You're right. Something has to give. I think we're all in a transactional period. Free to air is dealing with less revenue from ads, same with foxtel. It's going to get worse before it gets better. I wouldn't be surprised if we start losing free to air channels because they aren't going to be financially feasible anymore. Plus with more and more people moving to you tube for their daily fix of TV, advertisers will start to demand cheaper fees for their ads because of less audience, and the TV channels make less money so they have to cut something out to protect profits. It's a vicious circle and right now no one knows where it's going to end. Will free to air exist in ten, twenty years. Will you tube become the only free TV we can watch. Will you tube have to start paying royalties on the shows that we watch for free. If they have to pay royalties, where do they get the money? From advertising? It starts all over again.

              There's a middle ground there. They just have to find it.
              As long as the programming is relevant, there's no reason free to air channels can't exist until radio broadcasting is a thing of the past. The key being relevant programming. Schedule bullshit "reality" tv in prime time every single night of the week and people will eventually get tired with it and switch off. I haven't watched more than a few minutes of tv in months for this exact reason. Every time I turn it on, someone is building something or someone is singing something. Enough is enough.
              They can't dictate what we watch anymore and they need to adjust to that. If they don't, you could be right and youtube could be the only (probably not only, but most significant) source of free entertainment. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing...

    I love ads :) they're great. If it wasn't for shit loads of them being over the top and incredibly loud taking up more than 25 minutes of my 1 hour show then i would have never stopped watching and supporting Australian Networks and content, i would have never found Netflix. Man i love those ads.

    thanks ads :) your the reason why i don't pay into the Australian entertainment economy any more :)


    What is this thing?

    The networks are already using more than 13 minutes of ads per hour, just advertising the stuff that doesn't count towards the quota: "... in-house advertising including direct channel promotions or advertising for other programs"

    Some new content in commercials would be nice. Do companies really think that playing the same commercial year after year is improving my feelings towards them?

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