UKTV cuts ad-break time

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[London] The U.K.'s second largest group of satellite and cable channels, UKTV, is cutting the duration of commercial breaks and on-air promotions because viewers are switching channels. Four-minute ad breaks will be reduced by at least 30 seconds, and on some stations breaks will be only two minutes long. Mike Smallwood, a consultant working on the project, said, "Clearly there is a short-term risk for revenues. We are hoping that there will be a payoff from the rise in the unit value of airtime." Many UKTV channels air up to 15 minutes of ads and promotions every hour. The Independent Television Commission stipulates a maximum of nine ad minutes per hour, but doesn't regulate program promotion time.
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