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Advertising Time Varies Among Nightly News Broadcasters


May 07, 2014 --

HOBE SOUND, Fla., May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of Americans watch nightly news programs during the week and most of them watch the half-hour news broadcasts of the "Big Three" networks - - ABC, CBS, and NBC. The numbers bounce around a little but each of the Big Three network news programs average about 9 million viewers every evening. During the last week of March, as well as the last week of April 2014, Americans for Responsible Advertising Inc. (AFRA) recorded the Big Three nightly news programs and calculated the amount of broadcast time each of them devoted to advertising. The overall average, and there was negligible variation, was 8 minutes i.e., 22 minutes of news and 8 minutes of advertising. Each program began with a relatively large (10 to 13 minute) segment of uninterrupted news. The 16 to 18 commercials that followed were 15 to 75 seconds long and most of them were for health-care products and services. Virtually all of the commercials were in good taste, the one exception being a commercial for Linzess, a digestion/constipation medication.

Two other nightly news broadcasts should be mentioned. They are the PBS News Hour and BBC World News America, both of which are broadcast by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Each of the PBS News Hours analyzed by AFRA began with a one-minute segment in which sponsoring not-for-profit foundations and for-profit corporations were listed and thanked.

This was followed by 52 minutes of uninterrupted news with a national focus. Both programs ended with 2 minutes of teases for other PBS programs, a couple of 30-second corporate commercials and 4 minutes of teases for programs of the local affiliate. Thus a total of 52 minutes of news and 8 minutes of advertising. The half-hour BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) program had an International focus and led off with 25 minutes of uninterrupted news. The final 5 minutes consisted of listing and thanking sponsors, teases for future programs, and a couple of 30-second commercials for corporate sponsors -- 25 minutes of news and 5 minutes of advertising.

A common characteristic of all of the nightly news programs studied is that the overwhelming majority of the advertising comes after the overwhelming majority of the news has been reported.

AFRA, PO Box 1921, Hobe Sound, Florida; Email,

Media contact: John Sullivan, 231-392-3882

SOURCE Americans for Responsible Advertising Inc.

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