Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Fox Talks The Talk On Fewer Commercials

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Last week I featured a story about NBC cutting their ad breaks by 20% and ad load by 10% during prime time programming as a way to better compete with digital video’s sparse ad load.  Now Fox appears to be jumping on the less commercials bandwagon too.  As reported by WSJ, Fox’s President of Ad Sales Joe Marchese has publicly committed to decreasing the network’s ad load by 20% (from the current 13 minutes/hr down to 11/hr) by 2020.  Admittedly this is “sort of an aspiration or goal . . . and not a declaration.”  This differs from NBC who has their hard target decrease planned for this Fall.  The problem with making these reductions is that the networks are hooked on the revenue generated by all these extra commercials.  So if Fox wants to drop its ad load by 20% it would theoretically need to increase rates by 20% just to stay flat.  Any economist will tell you scarcity of inventory does drive up price, but that’s easier said than done in media sales.  Bottom line – I’m not sure Fox really has the stones to make this decrease, but at least they’re publicly talking about TV’s ad load problem too.  Any radio execs out there thinking the same thing?!?

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