back to article Ofcom says yes on more TV ads

More TV viewers could be driven to the internet under new Ofcom proposals that would allow longer and more frequent commercial breaks. The communications watchdog has released a consultation in response to last year's EU Audiovisual Directive, which aims to harmonise television regulation across the bloc. At present rules …


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  1. John Burton

    But who watches them?

    With sky plus and similar systems becoming common does anyone even watch the adverts any more? Mostly I just fast forward over them. If I'm watching live I pause until they are finished then fast forward over them. Does anyone even watch them any more?

  2. Chris Simmons

    Will Phorm be proposing...

    ...they be allowed to monitor our viewing habits and then target ads to our TV's? (I know, not possible yet outside of Sky and Cable, but it had to be said).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PVR anyone?

    With PVRs so readily available I don't understand why anyone would watch adverts during any programmes, other than live sporting events.

    Let 'em do what they want to do - the days of commercial TV advertising are numbered anyway (whether they push up the number of adverts per hour, or not).

  4. Mike Crawshaw

    This is FANTASTIC!!!!

    Suddenly I'll have WAY more opportunity to go for a piss, grab coffee, hells, even make a sandwich during the commercials, rather than the current "racing around like a dervish" scenario!

    Sorry, I'm supposed to stay in one place, mindlessly absorbing the ridiculous claims of marketing types desperately trying to attract my attention by using fine-lookin' girls in bikinis to promote toothpaste? Hmmmm.... no.

    Well done Ofcom! My bladder thanks you for your decision!!

    (do I really need to add sarcasm tags?)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    My poor thumb

    I record nearly all of the TV I watch, so I can skip through the adverts with impunity - this change will just cause extra thumb usage... Or I could download torrents which already have the adverts stripped out.

    I can't see the advertisers wanting to pay for more airtime when this will cause the overall viewing figures to decline.

    Way to go Ofcom.

    ..Skull and crossbones for the death of broadcast TV.

  6. Toby Rose
    Thumb Down

    They already bend the ruling

    I complained about the amount of advertising on Lost when it was on C4.

    The regulations go on about hour slots. This means that if a programme doesn't start on the hour and runs into another hour slot, (quite feasible for even a 40 min show), then the programme can utilise both hours advertising allowance. No rules are made for the channel's own adverts - this is at the discretion of the channel itself to broadcast as few or as many - the case here with C4.

    There's a fine line between what people can put up with and what the broadcasters can get away with although judging by the popular shows, for the majority of the viewing public, this isn't much. Carte Blanche for advertising then!!

  7. Rob
    Paris Hilton

    Is it just me?

    Or do other people read "Cillit Bang!" as "Clit Bang!"?

    Paris because... well, you know why.

  8. Gordon Ross Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Can only increase sales of PVRs

    I think the ad executives at ITV/C4/C5 need new stop-watches. I've got a Freeview PVR, and I allow 45 minutes to watch a 60 minute program on these channels. Also, C5 often have three ad breaks in a 1 hour program.

    Also, if you watch things like E4/More4/Sky, they've already adopted the American advertising model of putting adverts straight after the opening credits.

    I think I hardly ever watch a program truly live now. I always time shift to skip the adverts, sponsorship rubbish, credits, etc

    This proposed increase in the amount of adverts will only sales & useage of PVRs

  9. Barry
    Thumb Down


    Whilst on holiday in Canada (not quite N.America, but, close enough) I died a little inside at every ad-break. And, they were frequent, & sudden.

  10. Paul


    "On the other hand, Ofcom must also take account of the contribution made by advertising revenue to paying for the choice of television services that viewers enjoy."

    They think more adverts will help? Have they seen US or French TV? Its Crap. What we see of US TV in the UK is the pick of the best shows. It is like basing all your views of UK TV on what is shown in prime time on BBC 1 and ITV 1 (although admitedly you would just get Soaps, which would make our TV look crap)

  11. tim morrison

    Oh great

    This sort of thing drives me farcking nuts, if it ain't the sound level going through the roof when the ads come on, it's this shit idea of showing the credits and then a whole bunch of ads.

    No wonder people illegally download this stuff with all the ads ripped out.... not me obviously ossifer........

  12. Guy
    Thumb Down

    Even less program time

    So for a program starting at 7.00pm you will probably get to see the first image (allowing for adverts at about 7.03) you would get an ad break of 3 minutes at 7.10. another one at 7.20, then the program actually finishes at 7.27 to allow for more adverts.

    total time of program 21Mins

    total adverts 9 mins...almost a third of the time spent watching adverts........I'd rather sign up for spam

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Oh God!

    Cillit Bang? At least they've got rid of the annoying Barry Scott character but now they've decided to go for over dubbing and advert made for Europe so the lip sync is crap.

    So I suspect as we get more adverts we're going to get more and more crappy over dubbed rubbish pushed down our throats. Can we start a campaign for real adverts?

    It wouldn't be bad if the adverts were any good but in recent years they've pretty much all turned into crap even when they're not over dubbed. Too much coke being snorted I suspect.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    been there. done that.

    digital viewers will already be experiencing this. the other night while watching some adverts on my digibox, i was extremely irritated to find them constantly interrupted by the odd couple of minutes of programming.

    [mind you. television has yet to implement the big fucking annoying ad, rolling across the screen in front of the programme you're trying to watch. right reg?]

  15. Paul

    So, how long...

    before they start developing a Phorm-type system to monitor your television viewing and deliver "targeted ad's"

    Don't they realise that advertising is loosing it's effect, for example those stupid 118 118 ad's, whilst memorable, make me deliberately NOT use their service?

    Brand awareness isn't a good thing in all cases!

  16. Jason Edmunds

    Bring it on...

    I've got 2 words for all you advertisers:

    Sky Plus.

    And can someone please explain how Sky can sell ad time to advertisers (for mucho dinero), then sell equipment to it's customers that allows them to skip all those pesky ads?

    Anyone else see a conflict there?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    On the contrary

    The internet allows this silliness because a proprietary web based player can be prevented from fast forwarding over the ads.

    I am currently trying to find out if I can get a TV signal. Sadly I can't find out because I will need to pay an unrefundable licence fee to find out if there is a service I can by so bollocks to telly (instead of on)

  18. Rich Silver badge

    Oh joy!

    Well, that'll convince me to watch ITV.... not!

    Apart from maybe the news, I never watch ITV live as it is - The only sane way to watch it at all is to record it first so that I can skip the adverts. And channel 5 is even worse in this respect. Of course, I know I'm not alone in this. Life is way to short to waste it waiting for the adverts to end so I can get back to what I was watching.

    Actually, life is way to short to watch telly at all!

  19. Nick
    Dead Vulture

    Flogging a dead horse

    I really can't believe this. There logic seems to that in order to provide a wider 'choice' of channels they are going to make them all equally unwatchable. The main reason I *cough* download movies and tv shows is because trying to watch say Dexter on normal tv with four 8minute add breaks in it totally ruins the experience.

    With the release of the iPlayer and similar other offerings in the pipeline any increase in advertising on terrestrial tv is just going to kill is off fast.

    Push media is dead! Long live pull media!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because American advertising is so popular

    If this goes through, buy shares in PVR manufacturers. TiVo took off in the States when customers were told they could skip the adverts.

    BTW. These regulations for seven minutes per hour - are they actually enforced? Watching Channel 4 at prime time it seems about double that when you include all the programme trailers, what's coming next, now on Film Four, oooh aren't we great we made Four Weddings and a Funeral half a lifetime ago, if you missed this then catch the repeat of the news on Channel 4 + pi, don't miss tonight's celebrity death shagfest live on E4...

    And don't get me started on the cable channels.

  21. Jonathan
    Thumb Down


    Thank God for the PVR and the fast forward options... or the inline editing options if I'm bored

  22. Nomen Publicus

    No more ads!

    Adverts are driving me away from commercial broadcast TV. There are so many ad breaks in some programs I always record the program so I can FF over the ads.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    scrap the license fee

    how about a few of these on bbc channels, and tell the bbc to shove their "license" up their arse

    i wish to god there was some way of turning off incoming bbc broadcasts, because this bullshit license we keep paying for, isn't a "tv license" as they like to call it, its a bbc license, for shitty soaps and edited news, nothing more, at least then i could watch the other channels with stuff worth watching on them without worrying about a bunch of twats in a van going past trying to watch crappy bbc channels that i wouldn't nor couldn't watch.

  24. John M


    ITV has been in the doldrums for years, because it's programmes with a few exceptions are crap. It needs to show better programmes to encourage more viewers, not advertise more to fewer.

    The interruption of programmes by adverts are a source of annoyance as it is, to increase this, would be most unwelcome, and would have a negative effect on the number of viewers.

  25. Liam


    lucky i have my v+ box - havent watched adverts in ages!

    it will end up like trash US tv where its more adverts per hour than actual footage

    why not just charge more per advert and keep the same frequency

  26. A J Stiles

    Brilliant ..... way to kill it off

    And what do the viewers get in return?

    I think the ruling about extra advertisement time should have been made conditional on the broadcasters adopting a common standard to be used for indicating to domestic video recording equipment whether editorial content or advertising was being broadcast, to be licenced royalty-free to electronics manufacturers; and with instant loss of broadcasting licence in the event of misuse by broadcasters. It's only fair: if they want to broadcast more adverts, it should be easier for us to avoid them.

    I've got Sky Plus, so I'll only be minimally affected anyway, but this is going too far.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Oh goody...

    Nice to know they are safeguarding the content quality of our idiot boxes and not just pandering to the broadcasters.

    Then again, since UK TV has generally turned into a collection of reality shows, I hardly watch it any more. Almost anything worth watching these days seems to be American, Prison Break, Dexter, CSI (if you can ignore their howling technical mistakes!), so available several season ahead via *cough* p2p *cough*.

    I'm sure UK TV will come back with something involving Celebs (A-Z class) and a viewers vote, although the only one I can think of that I might watch would be Celebrity firing squad, you vote for who gets the slug!

  28. Sam


    I wonder if that's why F1 is moving back to the BBC?

  29. HeyZuZe


    7 min per hour currently... on which planet is Ofcom living on certainly not mine

  30. Chris

    7 minutes per hour?!?

    We get 15 per hour here. Lucky bastards.

  31. a walker

    freeview digital recorder

    Freeview digital channels habit of starting a program for a few minutes, then giving ads for more than 5 minutes before returning to the programme is already annoying but useful. Making a cup of tea and toasting a hot cross bun is already possible. Must buy a Freeview digital recorder to filter out the adverts. Ofcom may say "yes" to more adverts but we do not have to watch them. Ads - You have been erased!

  32. Anonymous Coward


    "by selling more time in front of fewer viewers"

    And thus driving even more viewers away causing a further drop in revenues. I assume that eventually they will think that 'advertising only' is the way to go.

    North American viewer here and we wait for series to come out on DVD just to avoid too many and too frequent ads. We watch one or part of one season and from then on wait for the DVDs to come out. If they start putting advertising on the DVDs we will stop buying them.

  33. Adam Reiniger
    Paris Hilton

    Simply put

    Ofcom can go and shove their idea up the brown highway.


    This is precisely why I currently do, and will continue to download tv from the net. The continuing ad breaks really annoy me - Formula 1, for example, now has more Sony ads then actual racing time. (Thankfully BBC have won the rights to F1 from 2009).


    Seriously Ofcom. Kiss my shiny metal buttocks


    PH, cause she is nearly as stupid as Ofcom.

  34. Mark

    Sky Plus and TiVO

    Tivo users *used* to be able to skip ads automatically. But Tivo were "persuaded" to change this. If Tivo had been properly (as per intent rather than per wording) GPL, the owners (people who bought a Tivo) would be able to get their own fix to this regression, turning back on the auto-skip feature if they so desired.

    That's why there's the famous "anti-Tivo clause" in GPL3.

    Sky View Plus will go the same way when Sky want it to.

  35. Tony

    Already here

    Actually, I've noticed that there are several stations (More4, Virgin1 amongst others) where they already use the American practice of running ads immediately after the opening credits. It is reeeeeaaaalllyyy annnnnoyyyying.

    Mind you, I spent a weekend watching Italian TV. There was actually an ad break during the closing credits; it returned in time for the last 5 seconds of names of people that ran and fetched the coffee for the non-entities that are listed after the people that actually did any work. Then it went to another ad break

    Can we have an icon for gouging out of eyes?

  36. Jonathan

    The problem with this is...

    As I see it, things are balanced as is.

    The customer pays a certain monthly fee, the advertiser pays a fee, the service provider buys the right to broadcast programs from studios.

    Now, things could get out of whack. Suddenly the service provider has the opportunity to make more money by placing more ads. Where does this money go? Into reducing the cost of TV? Oh no, it goes to the shareholders.

    Well, I for one DO NOT WANT. I hate adverts as is. I see the point of them, I see that without them TV would be far more expensive. That doesnt mean the ratio of content to adverts should change from 9:1 to 1:9 without me seeing any benefit.

    I really dont see what Ofcom is trying to achieve by allowing more adverts. How does it help the consumer? All other businesses involved in TV are doing okay - if they werent, either consumers would have to pay more, or the companies would go out of business. Its nice to know that Ofcom is on our side, isnt it?

    Mine's the one with YouTube and other examples of Internet media distribution on it.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    my internet was down last night so I had to watch TV

    Holy drek it's shite - I mean complete and utter shite.

    I just read a bit of a book and went to bed.

    I can't believe people still watch TV.

  38. eddiewrenn

    Torrents all the way

    I have been a torrent advocate all the eway, for three or four years now, and feel repulsed at the idea of adverts with my telly anymore. I was getting excited by iplayer and 4OD etc. but this is another nail in TV's grave. I can't remember when I last used my NTL subscription - I should really cancel it.

    give us legal torrents, no restrictions, no adverts, and charge us, say 20p for half-hour's entertainment - you'll get my money. Until then, bittorrents for me.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Crawshaw

    lol, thats so damn spot on man!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    I wish they would f**k of(com)

    Firstly, Cillit bang getting rid of barry scott in favour of badly dubbed women was a mistake. He was clearly a highlight!!

    Secondly, Ofcom are a bunch of idiots. By allowing broadcasters to have more adverts they will be causing people like me to goto places I can get shows without adverts! So thats the BBC and the internet.

    With more advert breaks the budget of advertisers will be streched further and in general the quality of the adverts will have to decline. I would much prefer a small ad break with 1 high quality advert which would actually persuade me to buy a product.

    Long advert and frequent breaks just make make me switch off to them!

  41. Anonymous Coward

    How Much Of A Back Hander Did Ofcom Get For This Rubbish

    As if Sky follows the rules, how many breaks do they do in 1hr of tv, more than Ofcom allow and I hate having the credits popping up 10 minutes into a program, The Unit being a prime example of American TV stupidity.

  42. Graham Davis

    Any creative advertisers out there?

    So who will be the first advertiser to produce an advert that's slowed down by a factor of 32 or otherwise designed to get there message across in the few seconds as it flashes by on fast forward.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kill it

    The best way to deal with these intrusive ads and the other brain washing, mind numbing pap is to switch the Soul Stealer off,

    Cancel your Sky/cable subscriptions and license fee,

    Don't let the Devils Device suck you dry. There is a wide world out there, lots to do and see.

    Try it for a week or a month and feel the freedom, you won't be disappointed.

  44. Cameron Colley

    Do adverts work?

    The consensus here seem to be that, for whatever reason, adverts don't work. If it is the case that they don't work, then why do companies pay for them? I've heard the "tax break" argument, but that doesn't hold water as they still cost more money than they save.

    I maintain that there are morons out there on whom adverts work, and lots of them, so it is the morons we should blame and not the advertisers. Companies, in particular corporations, exist to make profit as a capitalist society we should accept this. The fault here lies with those too moronic, or too lazy, to make choices based upon actual value rather than bullshit.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate adverts as much as the next man (which is why I don't see any on this page) but I don't blame ITV or Coke for them -- I blame the brain-washed morons.

  45. Anonymous Coward


    No, its not just you. :-) :-)

  46. Warren

    Anonymous has a go at the BBC?!?!?!?

    You've got to be kidding, they're the sane ones in this mess. If I could pay double TV licence to get the adverts off the other channels I could. Without the BBC as a bottom line for us to remember what life used to be like, everything in the entire world would have adverts almost constantly.

    Also they can offer some less popular programs because of the funding difference, rather than lowest common denominator rubbish that quite frankly is worse than the adverts that fund it.

    Perhaps... and this is just an idea... ALL channels should be on subscribe / adverts choice. (Not both like Sky do it!!!)

    Yes as practical approach in the meanwhile I have a PVR but they're so darn good I'd have one anyway.

  47. Philip Cheeseman


    Good old mythtv - auto strips adverts for me.

    I almost cried when it broke for a few days and I had to endure adverts again.

  48. Chris Cheale



    why not just charge more per advert and keep the same frequency


    That's actually a really good idea - it might price the low-budget, badly dubbed, piss awful (if I ever meet "Barry Scott" I'm going to force him to drink that shit) ads out of the market and leave us with those ads that, really, we don't really mind watching.

    Sony Bravia (plasticine bunnines) for instance, or just about anything by Guiness, Carling or WKD (hmm booze seems to get the best ads) - the Hamlet cigar ads would be illegal now of course =( Sometimes the ads are better than the programs.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Damn you beat me to it.

    This reminds me of an old Dilbert cartoon basically along the lines of:

    "To reduce our losses in light of diminishing sales we're downsizing the sales team"

  50. Sean Ellis

    Mythtv + ad detection

    The advert detection scriptps in MythTV are bloody marvellous. Now I can watch the Space:1999 reruns on ITV4 without Barry Scott interrupting Barry Morse.

    The more ads there are, the more people will find it worthwhile to invest in ad-skipping technology.

  51. Rubber chicken
    Paris Hilton

    About bloody time!!

    The adverts on TV are the best thing. I record programs and skip the content just to see the adverts.

    Paris, just because we've got enough thumbs on the board.

  52. Matt


    I just did the Ofcom survey. It's heavily biased towards getting the result they want.

  53. Tom

    One thing I hate...

    You watch an older show and they cut chunks out of it to make room for the extra ads allowed since it was originally shown. The cuts appear to be random so you get quite a few WTF moments when a key bit gets cut out.

    If you even get to see any of the good older shows, it seems a lot of the non-prime time slots when they used to show old programs or kids cartoons are now filled with half-hour ads (infomercial my @ss) for crap knife sets, and spray on hair.

  54. Rob

    Watching adverts

    Like others, I fast forward through ads, in my case using a Tivo (remember them?).

    However - there's this one series of ads running right now, with funny kittens, that I'll actually interrupt my fast forwarding to watch. Because I enjoy them.

    It isn't rocket science. The way to get people to watch your ads is to show fewer and better, not more and even crappier. But I guess the coke addled retards in the ad agencies can't work that out.

  55. K
    Thumb Up

    this just makes me laugh

    We have 200+ channels which is mostly compromised of crap, this is just going to put the final nails into the coffin.

  56. Nick Drew
    Thumb Down


    Many of E4's programmes (for example) are US-made, and so are timed to American advertising - 22 minutes for a half hour slot, 42(?) for an hour slot.

    So... on those channels that carry mostly US programming, there won't actually be a difference in the amount of programming seen.

    Still think it's feckin awful, mind.

  57. Alex

    do not want

    feel free to cut and paste the following into every box on the OFCOM response, that's all I did, maybe the tedious repetition of the same 'info' will help drive the point home?:

    no more ads,

    why on earth would you want to lower the amount of "intended viewing" and replace it with additional marketing? also why on earth is the current tirade of televisual salesmanship so considerably louder than the programming?

    People are moving away from television as a form of entertainment for these reasons, this unwanted amendment is only going to hasten the departure.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    @Mark "Sky Plus and TiVO"

    Quite right! Good reason to buy a freeview PVR as Sky have full control over the firmware and can, in theory, force all the Sky+ suckers to watch the ads as well as pay their monthly fees.

    I recommend the Humax 9200 for what it's worth. Woohoo!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    Wrong direction. There is already too much intrusive ad time on the TV: been building up year on year. Now-a-days we seem to have programme breaks between the ads. Ad breaks ought to be no closer together than 40 minutes regardless, and limited to 5 minutes max. Once upon a time I felt sorry for the yanks who had to endure ridiculous amounts of advertising on their TVs, Now I think we must have caught them up.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sean Ellis

    "The advert detection scriptps in MythTV are bloody marvellous. Now I can watch the Space:1999 reruns on ITV4 without Barry Scott interrupting Barry Morse.

    The more ads there are, the more people will find it worthwhile to invest in ad-skipping technology."

    Interetsing. Now I wonder, when it becomes so cost ineffective to advertise will they:

    A. Give up on advertising and fire the over paid, pussys in the Advertising/Marketing Dept. or

    B. Buy out some Government officials to push for ad skipping to be made illegal?

    No prizes for guessing the correct answer.

  61. Campbell


    "But, that said, we've paid a subscription for V+ or Sky+, which makes you wonder why we should get the adverts at all? [After all, the costs for delivering 160 channels aren't much more than for delivering just the freeview ones, so the extra money must be for the content on those extra channels...effectively we "pay" twice if we're watching their adverts too."

    Good point, isn't that was why ITV, 4 and 5 were free because of the ads. BBC don't do ads but charge a fee, fair enough methinks.

    Sky, on the other had,do both, they also wholesale and retail their channels so there is NO competiton and are in a monpoly position with no regulator.

    Way past time to appoint said regulator, maybe we could call them OfSky, or maybe FuckOfSky?

  62. Andrew Jones

    American TV

    So, we are going down the american route...

    IIRC from my last trip "over the pond"

    On Next announcement


    Opening Sequence


    10 mins of programme

    Ads (5 mins)

    10 mins of programme

    Ads (5 mins)

    7 minutes of programme


    End Credits


    On Next

    Repeat Ad Nauseum(sic)

    Joke alert cause thats what OFCOM is, if this goes through

  63. Jimster71
    Paris Hilton

    Clit Bang

    Yeah, I read it as that too.

  64. Wayland Sothcott
    Paris Hilton

    Can they make it a legal requirement

    that I have to watch the ads?

    Perhaps they can DRM the programs so you can't skip the ads? Perhaps that's one of the promises of IPTV?

    Paris because she probably likes the ads as much as the programs.

  65. Simon Greenwood

    Haven't OFCOM noticed

    That 90% of current advertising on all commercial supported channels is for extortionate loans and stairlifts? TV advertising is all but dead except in peak programming time, which where ITV1 is concerned is 7.30 - 8.00 six nights a week. Perhaps that's what this ruling is aimed at, another break in Coronation Street.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    Everything is crap on commercial television anyway. I love it when people complain about the licence fee, the sound of their wailing and gnashing of teeth as they watch their money being drained away from Big Brother and Pop Idol and towards Have I Got News For You gives me a semi.

    The only thing I've ever watched on commercial television is films and US shows, and I tend *cough* to rent *cough* them now anyway, partly to avoid the adverts.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Can't remember...

    .. the last time I watched any adds, but then I have a PVR.

    The likes of ITV don't really deserve to be still in business anyway. Shoddy programming at best.

  68. Matt

    to all the people who complain about the adverts

    Would you prefer to pay even more in subscription fee's?

    If channel owners cant make revenue from advertising one (or both) of two things will happen

    1 - they will make their money by increasing subscritpion fee's

    2 - They will take the channels off air as there is no point in doing it if they cant make any money out of it.

    The business model of modern TV revolves around advertising, without it we would have to pay a serioulsy big TV license fee.

    The business model does need a shake up, but the advtertisers are not going to go away. When people finally give up on the linear TV model and move to hyper distribution (p2p - bit torrent) then the advertisers will sponsor programs and have little bugs / logo's on screen instead.

    And i'm not putting a bloody paris hilton icon on this and that reminds me, will people please stop making jokes about bloody paris hilton - you are not funny, the moment has passed

    (i hate ad's as much as the next man, i just dont see a viable alternative)

  69. Red Bren

    @AC - scrap the license fee

    Perhaps you would prefer the SKY business model, where you pay a subscription, and pay extra for movies or special sporting events and STILL have to put up with the ads?

    The licence fee isn't perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than what Murdoch would put in its place!

  70. Red Bren

    OFCOM targets the wrong priority, AGAIN!

    It's not just the ever increasing amount of advertising that annoys me, it's the way that advertising actually takes priority over programming! If a technical problem interupts the broadcasting of a show, commercial channels don't cut back on the ads and rebroadcast what's been missed. They just keep going, regardless of what vital plot development might be missed. Maybe this is a side effect of having too much technology in broadcasting, along with all channels showing ads simultaneously or showing censored music videos post-watershed?

    Perhaps OFCOM should enforce a minimum amount of entertainment per hour, instead of a routinely ignored maximum amount of ads?

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Blipverts are the answer!

    And it would solve the current obesity problem too.

    Or am I just 20 minutes into the future?

  72. Richard Cartledge

    HDMI ff denial

    Once HDMI is considered to be sufficiently established, the broadcasters and distributors of content will deny you to skip or mute the adverts, intros etc... Everything is already set and poised to be deployed. Any HDMI licensed device must comply, otherwise, it's key will be revoked and it won't play new stuff.

  73. Futaihikage

    I'm jealous

    I don't think I've sat down to watch a movie on regular television and went more than FIFTEEN MINUTES without a commercial interruption... then again.. i live on the east coast of the US where they are already programming DVR's with the ability to NOT skip commercials... so sad.. Now i see why people use bittorrent for downloading tv shows and movies... you go to the theater... you see commercials before the movie.. watch it at home.. commercials.. before, during and after... This is becoming quite bothersome.

  74. b166er

    Flogging a dead donkey

    You can watch most of ITV's stuff sans ads from their website.

    I've always chuckled at the fact that you subscribe to a magazine, and then when you read it, it's full of ads, or you subscribe to Sky and then when you watch it, it's full of ads!

    As was said above, if only I could pay more for a tv license and have an ad free version, I would.

    But then, when did large businesses ever give a toss about their customers? They just want you to be good little couch potato consumers. Just wait until you get click this advert/press the red button now ads, and credit card slots in the front of your idiot box HAHAHA, won't even have to leave the settee.

    I'm off to patent the 'moronic couch dwelling income organism' life support system.

    Happy Easter, remember, Easter's cheaper at Asda.


  75. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Thanks for brining this news soon before I upgrade my TV. Now I'll be seeking a device with NO TV TUNER so I have the option to throw my Sky box and TV licence out the window if this goes ahead.

    LoveFilm TV series rentals on DVD and BBC iPlayer will do just fine thanks.

  76. Ian Ferguson

    The BBC is the answer

    Wow, I can't remember the last time I watched an advert.

    I don't exclusively watch BBC programmes, but anything that isn't (and therefore isn't available on iPlayer) I acquire from torrents. Sans adverts.

    Is it just me or is the BBC 'unique' funding model getting more and more relevant nowadays?

  77. Sim

    Tell Ofcom

    you can tell ofcom your views on this matter

  78. Paul

    Bad idea.

    Even after 3 years living in the USA, I still can't quite get used to the complete and utter annoyingness of the advertising on TV here (or indeed, the TV in general). I hope I never do, because that will be a sign that my soul has finally died.

    It's just weird, having the end credits of one programme go immediately into the opening credits of the next, only to be interrupted right away by an ad break. I think they even squeeze 3 breaks into the 11pm news (a half-hour show consisting of 2 minutes of local news, 10 minutes of weather, about 10 minutes of ads, and the rest devoted to what else but high school sports. Mehhhh.)

    15+ minutes per hour of pharmaceutical industry adverts: "Ask your doctor about Blahtoxifen, side effects may include hallucination, loss of hair and in rare cases, death. Seek medical help immediately if you can't get it down after 4 hours."; ads for hooky weight-loss supplements: "Fatoffa works only as part of a calorie controlled diet with exercise, not approved by the FDA"; sometimes the same ad run twice, back to back; those fucking annoying cleaning product ads with the shouty guy; then the network runs a trailer for one of their upcoming shows and I think "yay, ads over, time to sit down again" only to have MORE FUCKING ADVERTS to follow. They've figured out that people will go back to their seat or stop fast forwarding when the trailer finishes, so they've stuck more ads in after it. Not to mention the adverts where the volume level SUDDENLY INCREASES WITHOUT WARNING!

    GAAAAH!!! <--- this is how you will feel after OFCOM makes these changes. All. The. Time.

    "television has yet to implement the big fucking annoying ad, rolling across the screen in front of the programme you're trying to watch."

    Heh, if only. Right after the aforementioned annoying ad break, you'll be about 15 seconds into the programme again when the ENTIRE CORNER OF THE DAMN SCREEN is suddenly occupied by a fully animated, highly distracting trailer ad for some other show. This doesn't happen often, yet, but it does already happen here.

    Ironically, we *could* avoid most of this by having a PVR and skipping the ads, but we don't actually watch enough TV to justify buying one.

  79. Philip


    toothless UK regulator bends over and takes one for the team...

  80. Paul

    the customer

    remember, the customer is always right! However, the customer of the TV stations is NOT you the viewer. The advertiser is the customer, and we viewers* are just bait to get the advertisers to give the TV stations money.

    * when I say we, I actually don't include myself, as I don't pay the TV tax and I don't watch broadcast TV. the odd accident with azureus and a torrent file occurs and I do watch the resultant AVI file :-)

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Campbell

    It may disturb you to learn, that as public service providers, ITV1, and Channel 4 get a slice of the licence fee. So it's not all BBC money. The independents have recently been asking for a bigger slice of the pie too.

    Personally, I don't mind Film 4 - they don't have many advert breaks (maybe 2 per film) and they don't brand the screen with a logo. Lovely for stripping the ads out of and making into divxs for my media server. In fact that's the only time I see the ads, when I'm stripping them out. And as I'm doing the recording, they can't get me for illegal distribution either - currently running at around 500 GB of divx compressed tv series and films.

  82. David


    Gawd `elp us, brothers and sisters. Still, like many others who have commented, I too hardly ever watch anything on a commercial channel as it`s transmitted. Record merrily away and then skip the ads on playback. What could be simpler? Now........the next thing is to devise a way of getting rid of on-screen logos, which I think are one of the worst "inventions" known to man. I KNOW exactly what I am watching, otherwise I wouldn`t be watching it! I see Channel 5 have reverted to one, once again, after having disposed of it for some time. Who did it? Stand up and be shot!

  83. Timbo
    Paris Hilton

    OFCOM miss the point again...

    ...and play into the hands of those who want to get rich at the expense of the masses.

    I'm so sick of adverts, I hardly watch many commercial channels at all - and when a programme is on, esp. if it clashes with the BBC, I watch the BBC and use my PVR to record the commercial channel....then on playback, like others I just skip the adverts.

    And of course, as digital swithover carries on, more Freeview and Freesat boxes will be available at ever cheaper prices with higher and higher specs, so that in say 6 years time, everyone will be watching via digital TV and the set top boxes will all have live pause and PVR NO-ONE need watch any commercials...

    I s'pose by then all the commercial channels will only be available on subscription card basis....coz they won't earn much from advertisers if no one can be bothered to watch them....

    Ah...I just figured it....maybe they put some simple "prize" questions in the break along with the adverts so you can win BIG cash prizes....y'know the the capital of it:

    a) New York

    b) Glasgow

    c) London

    That'll force people to watch adverts...!!

    PH coz she'd be worth watching.....

  84. Anonymous Coward

    Please, No!

    I used to love UKGold (or whatever they're calling themselves today), but the ad breaks got longer and longer and longer and I just gave up. I remember Ofcom ordering them to reduce the length of their ad breaks. Now all channels will be able to extend them and include more!

    I'm now living in the US, and I'm heartily sick of the amount of advertising here. Most of the programmes in between are crap as well, though! One thing that is a plus here is that they don't run ad breaks at the same time on all channels like in the UK - you can switch to another channel and watch something else while the ads are on the first channel!

    Another problem is that DVRs are virtually non-existent here, Philips are one of the only ones out there, unless you want to pay a subscription fee for TIvo. And even then, Tivo tried to prevent viewers fast-forwarding trhoug ads even onrecorded shows!

    The point of this ramble: if you think it's bad in the UK, think about us here in the States, and then go and get yourself a Freeview or Sky+ box! You'll never look back!

  85. Gwyn Kemp-Philp
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant TV

    I have been involuntarily interned in South Africa for three months and I can truly say that South African TV is Brilliant.

    It is so dire that I could not bear to watch it at all.

    Consequently, I have now completely got TV out of my system and I am 'cured' for return to UK next week.

    My computer (and internet) is so much better.

    32" 16:9 TV for sale to highest bidder. Reserve £0.50p S/H TV licence for sale - Cheap.

  86. Richard Silver badge

    OFCOM are clearly pushing for something

    Look at Figure 9 and Figure 10 on page 66 of the consultation document:

    Then read Section 7.15:

    "The data in Figure 9 above suggests that just over half of viewers would be content with this (i.e. they are content with existing levels of advertising or would be prepared to see more), and that less than half of viewers would be dissatisfied with the level of TV advertising.

    OFCOM are clearly pushing for something instead of looking at the evidence.

    The graph shows the following (Fig 9, All Adults):

    2% (A) Don't know

    7% (B) Not really bothered by it

    40% (C) There is already more than I am happy with

    39% (D) Present levels don't bother me but I would not want any more

    9% (E) A little more would not bother me

    3% (F) It could go up quite a bit before it bothered me

    Yet they say that more than half "are content with existing levels of advertising or would be prepared to see more"

    Those proportions would be 39%, 9% and 3% - a total of 51%

    However, any increase would clearly annoy 79% of All Adults.

  87. Zap

    Toothless OFCOM should be scrapped and rebuilt

    Fking OFCOM who the hell do they work for, who pays their salaries - US. This is another example of a watchdog made toothless by this bloody government. Once again the corporation is more important than the customer or should I say consumer because that is what we are.

    I was in the United States recently and TV is unwatchable. Half the programme is sacrificed into a "coming up" and "previously" section. In the US you can actually forget what you were watching and they put a break 20 seconds before the end of a programme forcing you to sit through 10 minutes more ads before you see the climax and then the credits.

    I have Sky Plus and already it is so bad I hardly watch any live TV and just forward the ads, but it is a pain.

    Have a look at the OFCOM site

    and you will see it is full of committees of overpaid people who do not do what the public want. Look at recent appointments

    Surely there is a conflict with employing people from the TV industry, shouldn't they be employing members of the public who are the end users. What kind of perspective will these people bring, the one of their buddies in the TV industry of course.

    OFCOM is another government service that is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE.

  88. Sam Therapy

    Screw OFCOM and the broadcasters

    I lost the TV habit years ago (too busy having a life) so it doesn't really bother me what they do. On the rare occasions I watch owt from the telly it's pre recorded so I whizz through the ads.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    A little off subject admittedly, but some here have commented on the licence fee. It is an absolute abortion resulting in costs to collect, and still further costs employing folk to hunt down evaders. It also results in the licence fee "Stasi" assuming guilt, and threatening decent honest folk who have no TV, and who are sick to death of having to tell them again and again and again there is no TV so they no longer bother.

    If public service TV is desirable, and I think most think it is, then the obvious solution is to agree an algorithm that considers all relevant factors and produces a figure to be funded from general taxation. It's a 'drop in the ocean' as far as the our tax kitty is concerned, so even folk who don't watch TV won't notice the cost. It removes the unnecessary collection costs and best of all, removes the spying/threatening of citizens by the State (at least as far as this issue is concerned).

  90. G4Z

    And another thing

    Who thought it was a good idea to allow ITV to interrupt films with the news again..?

    I was watching some US comedy film (can't remember what) and I was quite surprised at how funny it was, so I stuck with it and watched it all the way up to 10pm where upon the news kicked in. Looking at the EPG it looks as though this film finishes at 11:45 and it can't be that near the end I think. So remain seated for the news, occasionally flicking through the channels for something to watch (I don't watch news on the TV these day's, even the BBC seems more 'sensational' than ever and I can't bear to watch it).10:15 ad break, more flicking. 10:30 comes, and theres a human interest story about a baby seal that has been rescued, cue more flicking. 10:35 comes, weather.... 10:40 I have no idea because I decided stuff it, I might watch this film on DVD someday but il be damned if I am gonna sit through any more of this for a film I am only barely interested in.

    Its slightly off topic I know, but really I hope some of these broadcasters read this thread and realise that they won't be selling much ad space with no viewers and its getting to the point that I would rather watch nothing!

    I may have invested in a great big HDTV, but there are plenty of other things to do with it other than watch TV. Even if I do want to watch a particular show, I have my shuttle connected for those wonderful high res AVI's.

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