NBCUniversal to Cut Number of Commercials Across All Networks by 20 Percent

Comcast-owned company vows to reduce primetime ad time by 10 percent

Last Updated: February 28, 2018 @ 9:53 AM

NBCUniversal plans to chop the number of commercials you see this fall across all of its networks by 20 percent. The Comcast-owned company and home to channels like NBC broadcast, USA Network and Syfy says its ad time during primetime originals will be reduced by 10 percent in time for the 2018-19 traditional TV season.

Here’s the catch: The company will also launch a new 60-second contextually-programmed “Prime Pod” during the first or last break of a show dedicated to up to two advertisers for stronger impact with viewers.

“Sometimes, a little bit less means a whole lot more,” Linda Yaccarino, chairman, Advertising and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal said on Wednesday. “The industry knows that television is already the most effective advertising medium there is, but we need to make the experience better for viewers. We promised some big swings last fall to move our industry forward and this is the first one. Now, NBCUniversal is advancing the TV experience as consumer behavior has evolved: lower ad loads, more innovation and more targeting. We’re reimagining the advertising experience for consumers, marketers, and the entire industry.”

Below are some bullet-points from the new plan, directly from NBCU.

Fewer Ads:

  • NBCUniversal will reduce the number of ads across its networks by 20 percent, and total ad time by 10 percent in Prime Originals across the entire portfolio.
  • The company is making reductions in more than 50 Primetime original shows across its entire portfolio.

Better Ads:

  • Research shows that innovative advertising products increase consumer engagement by more than 20%.
  • NBCUniversal will also unveil a suite of innovative new ad products including Interactive Picture in Picture and Social Commercials and Social First Pods.
  • Contextually targeted ads fuel greater consumer conversion and NBCUniversal will use a new artificial intelligence (AI)-based contextual content targeting product that combs through scripts and data sources to make every ad that much more contextually relevant to its audience.

More Relevant Ads:

  • NBCUniversal will use its unparalleled technology, tools, talent and creative capabilities to help clients’ advertisements resonate the most and deliver them in new ways.
  • NBCUniversal has created a new 60-second “Prime Pod” of National ad time in the first or last break of a show.
  • This transformative new pod, which will be dedicated to up to two advertisers, combines the power of fewer, better, and more contextually relevant ads, and gives clients a unique opportunity to connect with audiences in the most effective, exciting, and efficient way.