Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Commercials on PBS, Whether Or Not You Donate ...

From TVWatch:

PBS is just coming to the realization -- perhaps obvious to others -- that viewers move on quickly after TV shows have ended.

PBS executives say viewers make for the "exits" when a show like "Masterpiece Theater" concludes, with ratings dropping substantially.

As a result, some messages from PBS sponsors messaging have been falling on deaf ears. So PBS executives -- already under stress by some conservative-minded politicians who want to cut Federal funding -- say they'll now add messaging at 15-minute increments to some shows.

This comes as no surprise to the commercial TV networks where messaging breaks come faster and more furious -- totaling some 15 to 17 minutes during a typical hour of programming.

PBS won't offer anywhere near the 17 minutes of unwanted interruption the commercial networks offer. But we feel its pain.

Still, PBS viewers are no different than non-PBS viewers. Though they have strong public-television consciousness, they don't hang around to watch sponsor messages after a show just because they know it's the right thing to do. That said, they have been making donations for decades.

PBS viewers have had to endure slow commercialization over the last several decades but -- until this moment -- nothing has broken into the sanctity of a program itself.

But here's why this might have less effect than thought. In a growing DVR-filled world, PBS will be giving many sponsors less of the full media value of their mostly corporate brand messaging. TV viewers know how to use the fast-forward button on their remotes.