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Could the length of TV Advert breaks be changing?

It has been recently announced that Ofcom is considering a complete overhaul of advertising regulations on television, partly due to the continuous interest and growth of online streaming services in the UK.

These regulations include the length of which television ad breaks are allowed to run. Currently, for channels 3 – 5, ad break lengths run for an average of 7 minutes per hour throughout the day. Private channels are allowed slightly more time than this, with 9 minutes of advertising per hour, and teleshopping is allowed an additional 3 minutes. There are also additional rules in place for children’s channels, religious programming and special circumstances such as royal ceremonies.

Whilst TV adverts are commonly frowned upon for interrupting our favourite shows and quite often showcasing products we don’t need to have, it is of course these adverts that ultimately pay for the television shows and channels we watch. With the rise of online streaming services, especially the recent promotions of paramount+ entering the mix, it would appear that normal television channels need more funding from television adverts to stay afloat and to produce high-quality shows in order to stay competitive. This is why suspicion is pointing toward Ofcom making a decision to run TV ad breaks for longer durations.

The decision on these changes will be announced in the late Summer and may include more changes than just the length in which advert breaks are allowed to run.

What are your thoughts on longer ad breaks? A longer opportunity to make a cuppa or an unwelcome annoyance? Let us know in the comments.

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