Advanced Television

Longer TV ad breaks for UK?

July 1, 2022

Ofcom has confirmed that the frequency and length of commercial breaks on UK television channels are to be reassessed in light of evolving viewing habits and the rise of streaming services.

Current rules state that, for ITV/STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, the total amount of advertising in any one day must not exceed an average of seven minutes per hour of broadcasting. The channels can run advertising breaks of up to eight minutes per hour during prime time periods (18:00-23:00 and 07:00-09:00). Other channels are allowed up to nine minutes of advertising per hour of broadcasting, plus an extra three minutes for teleshopping.

In a statement, an Ofcom spokesman 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.”

The review on TV advertising was previously mentioned in an Ofcom report to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries on the PSB licences of channel three and channel five.

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

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Policy, Regulation

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