TruTV Reduces Prime-Time Commercial Load to 10 Minutes Per Hour, Lowest on TV

Down From 18 Minutes Now

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'Impractical Jokers' on TruTv.
'Impractical Jokers' on TruTv. Credit: Jeremy Freeman/TruTV

As the commercial loads across cable TV become increasingly more bloated, TruTV is shrinking the number of advertising minutes on the network.

The Turner Broadcasting-owned network will extend the amount of programming time during each new hour of original, prime-time programming by more than 20%, the network said on Wednesday.

A company spokeswoman said by the fourth quarter of 2016 TruTV will have around 10 minutes of commercial and promotional time per hour in prime time, down from over 18 minutes now.

As a result, TruTV said it will have the lowest average commercial and promo time in all of TV, providing less clutter for marketers and better consumer experience.

"By creating a new and enhanced viewer experience, we also provide a more premium environment with greater impact for our advertisers, and the result is that we will reach the next level of delivering for our truTV fans and clients," Joe Hogan, exec VP-emerging consumers ad sales, Turner, said in a statement.

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger estimates that all cable next work groups, except AMC Networks, increased their aggregate ad loads in the third quarter over last year by an average of 2%.

"We've been studying ad loads closely for quite awhile, and as far as we know 10 minutes per hour would be by far the lightest primetime ad load on US TV," Mr. Juenger said.

TruTV embarked on a brand refresh last fall, taking more of a comedic approach to its reality programming and adopting the tagline, "Way More Fun." Since September 2014, the network's median viewer age dropped to 33 from 40, and its delivery of adults 18 to 49 has increased nearly 45%, it said.

Following the refresh, TruTV said it has also attracted 50 new advertisers in key categories like autos and retail.

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