The Buzz

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It's official: Americans are watching more TV. A report from global measurement firm Eurodata last week revealed that we're the second-biggest watchers in the world, up three minutes to four hours and 28 minutes a day. That's just behind the Japanese and 90 minutes more than the world average. One question that went unaddressed: Are we watching more TV or more advertising? A study from clutter experts, Media IQ, shows that the more highly rated a TV show, the more ads stuffed into each commercial break. The study looked at ABC's "Desperate Housewives" time slot as an example, finding that pod length went from the average of 2.41 minutes to 3.01 minutes in 2004. Average messages per pod rose from 6.96 messages to 7.87. "The commercial load of in-demand prime-time programming is increasing as networks pack more spots in to high demand weeks," read the release. Over the past three years, average pod length has grown by 5% on the broadcast networks, from 2.12 minutes to 2.19 minutes and by 4% on the top five cable networks from 3.13 minutes to 3.23 minutes. The pods might be growing, but hey, so is DVR penetration. If you're still watching the ads, you're so 2004.
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