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Saturday, January 15, 2011

TV Has Too Many Commercials

There have been debates regarding "Is it morally acceptable to watch TV, knowing it's mostly State propaganda?" State TV has a near monopoly. It's acceptable to watch and observe the evil fnords.

Over time, the number of commercials per hour of TV has increased. My father asked me to time a 30 minute episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" on Comedy Central. There were 10 minutes of commercials in a 30 hour show!

This is offensive. I'm *ALREADY* paying for Viacom's channels via cable carry fees. I pay a 2nd time via commercials. A commercial values the viewer's time at only a few cents per commercial. When I first heard of cable, I assumed there would be no commercials, because you're already paying for it.

If you get a Linux DVR, it automatically skips over commercials. There was a regular DVR that allowed viewers to skip ahead, but the media corporations killed it via a lawsuit. Current DVRs have a fast-forward, but no skip-ahead. Skip-ahead is technically feasible, but that feature is illegal.

The advantage of TV isn't just the explicit commercials. There's indirect hidden commercials. When a woman in a sitcom gets excited about her diamond engagement ring, that's a hidden commercial sponsored by the DeBeers diamond cartel. For another example, Jon Stewart ridicules people who criticize Obama's healthcare corporate welfare law. That "commercial" is more valuable than the explicit commercials! It's dangerous, because it isn't explicitly labeled as a commercial.

On the Internet, there's much less commercials. There's less State propaganda, if you know where to look. Viewers won't sit through 33% commercials on the Internet, because there's choice. In the mainsteam media, all shows have high commercial percentages. There's no choice and no competition. The Internet is changing the equation somewhat, but I haven't heard of any really interesting direct-to-Internet productions.

Also, the fact that a show must have a commercial every 5-8 minutes affects the writing. The writers must wrap up each scene within 8 minutes. They create cliffhangers, so that viewers come back after the commercial.

TV is one big advertisement for the State. The hidden commercials are more dangerous than the explicit commercials. However, I still watch. It's nice to observe the evil fnords. Besides, State entertainment still has a near-monopoly. I can watch, without being adversely affected, although it's sometimes really offensive.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

FSK - I absolutely agree that TV is a huge scam. For family reasons I have to keep my subscription for Dish and I resent it very much.
The outrageous thing is that you buy 120 channel package and it turns out that couple of dozens of these "channels" are actually radio. The remaining channels are those which are available for free, such as C-SPAN, over-air-channels, religious, sales channels etc. On top of crap you get propaganda and commercials.

Anonymous said...

I use beyondtv for commercial tv - it has an adjustable skip via remote, and a smart skip feature. I avoid all commercials on tv, and I can watch an entire football game in 1 hour or less. For the internet I use a hosts file and various ad blockers. It is very important to me not to pollute my brain with this incessant noise - once it's in there there is nothing you can do.

In france the commercials are stacked up at longer intervals, perhaps just between shows, or just one interruption. So easier to turn the sound down and go do something else.

Your political philosophy would envision the advertising running rampant without regulation, but allow an unrestricted DVR technology arms race to combat this. Seems like an annoying big waste of time.

Personally, I will only take cable when they combine a la carte programming and pay only per program or minutes watched - which will be never. But I would record what I watch and strip out the commercials regardless.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the tv as propaganda idea. Every cop show on network tv has the suspect or interviewee answering all the police questions. Never talk to the police in any context... this is what they should be showing. It is absolutely ones patriotic duty not to speak, it is doing the right thing. There was one episode of "The Wire" where a union member refused to speak.. he even refused to "go downtown" - that is so rare on tv. Refusing to speak is not the same as "not cooperating" but is universally reported as such. However, as a practical matter, I would usually try to appear to "cooperate" as to not jeopardize requirements for a long term visa out of this place.

Scott said...

Who has time to watch TV? There is work to be done.

Anonymous said...

I am sick of paying high bills. I use direct tv and I probaly don't get twenty minutes of a one hour show. Americans don't have that kind of money to waste.Every one needs to drop their sevices to the minium package. and botcott these people who ripp us off.

Anonymous said...

10 minutes of commercial time for a 30 hour show is not bad at all

Anonymous said...

Having spent 15 years in broadcast, I pretty much saw all the tricks to sneaking in commercials (spots). However, back years ago, the FCC dictated how many minutes of commercial content could be inserted in an hour segment. That eventually went by the wayside when powerful interests got the FCC to drop that mandate with the infamous expression "let the market dictate." However, satellite and cable is a different breed of cat and pretty much unregulated. I have Direct TV and I am really angered by the ever INCREASING number of commercial inserts. Ambulance chasing attorneys, psychics, diet pills, cures for anything that ails man, assorted junk being hawked, promos and the worst, out-and-out fraud and ripoffs. In short, the networks seem to have no conscience, just unbridled greed. It seems to be like the the old wild west with no rules. The only cure for this is going to be massive subcriber cancellations. BTW, a good number of channels I am paying for are purely infomercial channels, no value at all. And, Direct TV has the nerve, in some of their commercials, to put down Dish Network for offering worthless channels. I have cancelled my Direct TV subcription effective the end of this month. I am paying for entertainment, not an endless string of commercials.

Anonymous said...

Certain "networks" are far worse at the amount of commercials than others. I do NOT watch SPIKE, nor WGN, Comedy Channel,USA, and many others that bombard me with loud, mindless insulting ads. The "crawler" ads hack me off most! How about those ads that "pop Up" in the bottom corners and take away from your viewing?!?!? I tried to watch a four star European movie yesterday that was subtitled. Frequently I could not read the words because of the ads covering them up!I hate all ads, but auto sales are the loudest most obnoxious. I am watching less and less TV.

This Blog Has Moved!

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