Clutter is on the climb in both cable and broadcast, with nonprogramming
minutes reaching their highest levels in certain dayparts, according to a study
by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of
National Advertisers Inc.
In their latest jointly commissioned 'Television Commercial Monitoring
Report,' the organizations said, 'Nonprogram minutes appear
to have reached an all-time high,' particularly in early morning, daytime and
local TV news.
The groups found that in cable alone, '11 of the 19 measured cable networks
showed increases in nonprogram minutes from November 2000 to November 2001.'
The Four A's and the ANA singled out some networks for particular notice in
the report. 'Fox Family [Channel, now ABC Family] had the most nonprogram
minutes [in May], E! Entertainment Television had the most in November,'
according to the report.
'VH1 delivered the most commercials in both May and November 2001,while
delivering one of the lowest number of promos,' the study continued. 'Comedy
Central had the most promos in November. [CNN] Headline News and Cable News
Network had the lowest number of commercial units in November.'
In primetime among the 'Big Four' TV networks, the report cited NBC as being
the most cluttered in primetime, despite a decline in nonprogram time by 43
seconds from last year.
CBS' clutter rose slightly, while Fox's dipped. ABC, 'the least cluttered
network in primetime,' held steady with 2000 levels.
But the study said, 'All four networks are within one minute of each other'
in nonprogram time.
For the annual report, research firm CMR, a Taylor Nelson Sofres company,
included as nonprogram time not only commercials, on-air promotion spots and
public-service announcements, but also program credits and station
Specifically, CMR studied six broadcast-television networks and 19 cable
networks across the various dayparts in May and November, as well as 19
syndicated shows during the latter month.
The research firm monitored broadcast activity in New
York and cable in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.