Monday, June 04, 2007
So the EU ministers comprising the EU Parliament Culture Committee have decided to increase the frequency with which advertisments are shown during television programmes. While still restricted to 12 minutes per hour, though God knows I don’t believe for a minute stations stick to this, ads will become more frequent, with only shows less than half an hour spared the obligation to break. Though clearly the choice is there, TV3 breaks twice during its sole evening news broadcast for instance. As viewing habits change, with technology allowing us to watch TV uninterrupted, TV companies are welcoming this avenue to bombard us with more advertisments more frequently. So too the parliament has agreed to allow a limited amount of product placement, the most obvious examples of that currently on the air are shows such as ‘American Idol’ and ‘24’ which shamelessly use models of mobile phone, cars and soft drinks throughout their respective shows. While TV companies and broadcasters may welcome this development, audiences could become more hostile. I still remember introducing an American friend of mine to GAA and while watching his first game of hurling his face was blank not at the nature of the sport but at how we could be have just watched more than half an hour of uninterrupted sports coverage. This is not a road that broadcasters this side of the Atlantic would or should be brave enough to consider travelling but it will progress to a situation where live coverage of events will be the most viewed items on TV and they will need to outlets for much needed advertising revenue.