Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PBS to Add Commercials

PBS is breaking from its long-term model and adding commercials to shows, PBS officials told member stations at a recent conference in Orlando.

Instead of airing breaks every 50 minutes, as the public broadcaster does now, it will air them every 15 minutes beginning this fall, according to the New York Times. 

Nature and Nova are two of the shows that will contain corporate and foundation sponsor ads, promotional messages and branding every 15 minutes.

Feelings about the move are mixed.

John F. Wilson, the chief programming executive for PBS, pointed to the steep drop off of audience members once the promotional spots aired at the end of the shows: "It’s almost as if someone pulled the fire alarm and they scrambled for the exits."

Now producers will have to restructure their shows to contain breaks.


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