Network National News: Commercial Playground

7/10/18

Author: Robleh Wais

In the last essay on the topic of network TV commercials, we surveyed the Jeopardy game show and showed via simple statistical analysis, it was a paradise for advertisers. This time it’s one of the network news channels that was stopwatch timed and analyzed. CBS was our target.  The results shouldn’t surprise any reader.  Below is a summary of results.

The division between commercial and news is approximately 74% and 26% respectively. However, if we look at the periods of broadcast divided into 4 segments, the percentages for commercial time would change dramatically.  Here are the figures for 7/10/18:

Period

Time (in minutes)

Type

Total Percentage

Commercial Percentage per Period

Totals (in minutes)

1a

3.4

Initial Collage

Included below

 

 

 

1

15

NEWS

73.67%

13.47%

22.1

News total

1

2.02

COMMERCIAL

26.33%

7.9

Commercial total

2

1.17

NEWS

217.95%

2

2.55

COMMERCIAL

3

0.43

NEWS

56.16%

3

3.33

COMMERCIAL

4

2.1

NEWS

Total

30

100.00%

 

If we take period 2 of commercials vs news we have twice as much time for commercials as the news. If we look at period 3 with an unbelievable 3 1/2 minutes of commercials and compare it to 3 and 4 news periods (including the initial collage of news), it's still more than half of the total broadcast time for this period. 

So, here is the story in brief, CBS starts its viewer out with a 3.4-minute news collage full of propagandist images and short sound bites.  It then gives the viewing public 15 straight minutes of this so-called news.  After that, you’re really finished with any real news, it’s sell the suckers for everything they’re worth.  You get a 2-minute burst of commercial barrages.  Then back for a brief one minute of news, and another disgusting salvo of several commercials.  After this segment the most appalling trick of all, the newscaster gives a mere 40 seconds plus of so-called news and sends the viewers back for over 3 full minutes of commercials!  In the last period, the newscaster gives the viewer a nice, warm, human-interest story for 2 minutes and sends him/her on their way straight to—JEOPARDY for more mind-numbing commercial brainwashing.

We won’t even focus on the content of this commercial diet viewers are fed, except to point out it targets medical aliments of the sort America’s aging population should just eat up.

The figures in bold are intended to emphasize how egregious the items are.