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Vanessa Zard 

Talks underway for longer TV ad breaks

Talks underway for longer TV ad breaks

Following a slump in advertising revenues among UK commercial broadcasters, British viewers may see a rise in the number of TV ads shown on mainstream channels.

According to The Times, talks have begun between public service broadcasters, including Channel 4 and ITV, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to discuss lifting the cap limiting the number of adverts allowed per hour.

Ofcom’s current rules dictate that public service broadcasters have an allowance of seven minutes of advertising every hour, increasing to a maximum of 12 minutes during prime-time slots, whilst other channels are allowed up to nine minutes per hour.

Although TV accounts for 95% of all video advertising viewing, UK broadcasters are facing increased competition from the likes of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, which continue to eat into live TV's viewing figures.

The move to allow for more ads could benefit ITV, which saw its total advertising revenues fall by 5% during the first half of the year.

However, they may pose a challenge to viewers - earlier this year, an Ofcom report revealed that over half of viewers were unhappy with the current level of TV advertising.

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