×

Impact of cable, b’cast ads even

Study sez commercial viewing, retention rates don't differ much

NEW YORK — Madison Avenue’s image of cable-network viewers is that they’re locked in the grip of attention-deficit disorder, punching the buttons on their remote controls like lunatics every time a commercial interrupts the flow of programming.

“That’s just not true,” said Joe Ostrow, president and CEO of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. He cited a Nielsen study released Tuesday, which shows that when it comes to remembering the content of a commercial spot, “there’s essentially no difference between cable- and broadcast-network television.”

The key finding of the report, which is based on a telephone survey of 17,200 adults 18 and over in April, is that cable-network viewers are just as likely as broadcast-TV viewers to stick around during the commercial breaks and pay enough attention to remember the gist of the advertiser’s message.

The percentages from the study: 65.2% of cable viewers are watching the commercials instead of surfing the dial compared with 67.9% of broadcast viewers, a statistically insignificant difference.

Commercial recalled

Similarly, 14.9% of people watching ad-supported cable networks recalled at least one commercial from the pod of spots during the most recent break compared with 14.5% of people viewing the broadcast nets.

Ostrow said the Nielsen report revealed that Madison Avenue is wrong in its conviction that the recall rate on 15-second spots is about 75% the rate of a 30-second spot. That actual rate is only 48% for a 15-second spot compared to a 30, according to the survey. That revelation raises big doubts about the effectiveness of 15-second spots.

However, one bit of conventional wisdom that was reinforced by the survey is that networks are making a mistake when they stuff more commercials into a break. As Ostrow puts it, “The more commercials in a pod, the lower the recall” of a specific advertiser message.

More TV

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content