Longer and more frequent TV ad breaks could be on the as broadcasters feel revenue squeeze, Ofcom says 1 month ago

Longer and more frequent TV ad breaks could be on the as broadcasters feel revenue squeeze, Ofcom says

The likes of ITV and Channel 4 are currently limited to an average of seven minutes of adverts an hour

Ofcom has suggested advertising breaks on UK television channels could get longer and more frequent as part of a review of its rules.

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The broadcast regulator said that changes in viewing habits and the rise of streaming services mean that the frequency and length of advertising will be looked at.

In a report, the regulator said: "We are also looking at the rules that set the frequency and length of advertising on broadcast TV.

"These rules are complex, with limits in place for public service broadcasters that are stricter than the rules set for commercial broadcasters.

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"We have had initial discussions with stakeholders, and we expect to be able to outline our next steps later this summer."

Current rules mean that channels three, four and five (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) are limited to an average of seven minutes of adverts per hour of broadcasting each day.

During prime time periods of 18:00-23:00 and 07:00-09:00, these channels can run advertising breaks up to eight minutes per hour.

Other channels are allowed a maximum of nine minutes of advertising per hour of television.

A spokesman for Ofcom said: "We're scoping a range of options, but before we form any plans we'll listen to different views and examine what TV viewers say.

"We need to strike the right balance between protecting viewers' interests and sustaining our traditional broadcasters, which includes helping them compete with American streaming platforms."

More details about the potential changes are expected later in the summer.

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In June, Netflix's CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the streaming platform would be introducing adverts for people who want to pay less for the service.

The platform has struggled in recent months, and Sarandos said the new "ad tier" would be for "folks who say 'Hey, I want a lower price and I’ll watch ads'."

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