Give Us A Break: British TV Viewers Face Prospect Of More Ads As Regulator Considers Raising Limits

British television viewers already complain loud and heartily about the amount of adverts on the box (notwithstanding it is the ads that pay for the content they’re enjoying).

Now they could face longer and more frequent ad breaks following a review of broadcasting rules by the regulator Ofcom, as part of a report on the PSB licences of the UK’s two ad-funded channels.

Channels three, known as ITV or STV, and five both have licences due to expire in 2024, and the regulator told the government’s culture secretary Nadine Dorries there was a “good case” to renew both.

The report looked into the nation’s evolving viewing habits, the rise of streaming services and pledged to accommodate different viewers by both broadcasters and viewers before making any changes. One option might be to relax the rules on product placement within programmes.

The current rules limit either channel’s advertising to an average of seven minutes per hour of broadcasting, with an extra minute per hour permitted in prime time.

Any changes which increase these numbers will be welcomed by these two privately-owned broadcasters in its struggle to fund content and compete with the deep-pocketed streamers. Ofcom previously found that older ad younger audiences alike were irked by the amount of ads, with older viewers often preferring to “record content as a series so they can skip the ads.”



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