Cable Networks Speed Up TV Shows to Fit in More Ads

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Seemingly defying the laws of physics, cable networks have found ways to squeeze more commercials into reruns of old favorites, including "Friends," "Seinfeld" and "The Wizard of Oz."

The number of commercials you’re forced to endure while watching reruns of some of your favorite TV shows is increasing.

Many cable networks are speeding up shows and movies so they can cram in more advertisements, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Tinkering with shows to squeeze more advertising dollars out of them has been done before. Cable networks have long made room for ads by shortening the opening credits. … But speeding up the actual content is a more subtle tactic TV networks use to achieve a higher volume of ads.

Sitcom reruns of “Seinfeld” and “Friends,” as well as movies such as “The Wizard of Oz,” have all received the rapid playback treatment.

“Some cable channels have gotten so edit- and compression-happy that they can now fit in more than 20 minutes of ads each hour, several minutes more than what you’ll find on most prime-time network broadcasts,” Consumerist said.

Although showing more ads is a way for cable networks to try and keep their heads above water amid declining ratings and a sluggish cable advertising market, it may backfire.

Jackie Kulesza, executive vice president and director of video at Starcom USA, told the WSJ that the networks need to be careful that viewers don’t get fed up with the commercial clutter and switch to commercial-free streaming services.

It is important for us to consider the effect this is having on the viewer experience. We want to ensure our message is seen by receptive viewers.

Sped up dialogue and more commercials? Seems like one more reason to ditch cable. Click here to see how you can continue watching your favorite TV shows without a pricey cable or satellite subscription.

Have you noticed more commercials when you’re watching reruns of your favorite shows? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

If you are thinking of cutting ties with cable, watch this video for tips on doing it with the least pain:

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