TBH, I haven't watched live tv in ages. So, I guess as a rep of the American populace, a lot of us just don't watch tv anymore.
Other than Sports, I don't watch tv. I used to just change the channel when they came on. Works great with sports as there is usually more than one game on at once and due to the unpredictable nature of play, they can't sync up their ad breaks.
Ads are more entertaining than they used to be though.
I haven't paid for cable since 2009, and have persuaded my parents to dump cable as of last year. I don't watch much television anyway, but even if I did there are so many avenues of receiving much of the same content without all of the goddamn ads. The worst part of the WWE Network, a paid subscription-based service, is that it serves you what I feel is a shit ton of ads and charges for the privilege.
I usually don't watch TV the normal way. I'll watch TV on the internet with adblock, but most places have a work around for that now. I really like watching soccer (football) games since both halves are commercial free with maybe a little pop-out thing on the score board (and the adverts around the pitch). Also I wait for shit to get on Netflix or Amazon Prime to get a true commercial free experience.
I literally haven't watched TV in America for 6 years, I couldn't do it anymore the internet ruined me its awful, the only way anyone in my house watches TV (Still not me I have zero interest in TV) is by recording it or pausing the TV for at least 30+ minutes so you can skip the Immense amount of garbage they shove down your throat, and they wonder why TV is dying.
Most people don't notice the commercials, or are using a DVR to fast forward past them. Another good amount of people stream the shows they want. Also if you grew up in America with commercials on the tv, then you learn to ignore them. Honestly it's not really a problem now.
I tried watching some US sports and its just insane how many breaks in play and ads play.
It's a real pain in the ass when you go watch the games live and there are "media timeouts." I went to college football games occasionally and those were the worst breaks in the action.
I'll speak for how my family (who didn't have cable tv or internet until 2004) watched tv for my entire childhood, (and just past graduating high-school)....we just did.
Take one of the many popular family comedies that were popular in the early-mid 90s (Family Matters, Fresh Prince, Full House, Home Improvement, yada) All of those were 30 minute time-blocks, with about 22.5 minutes of show, and 7 minutes of commercial. The time was split into 3 commercial breaks, with a the first block of the show often a minute longer then the last.
That is just how it was. It wasn't a matter of "Well why don't you dvr it, why don't you pause it, why don't you stream it". Outside of recording content onto a VCR you either watched it live, or missed it. And recording with a VCR was a major event. You could certainly do it for special events, but the concept of recording 10-16 hours of content a week to watch at your convenience...like you could but I know of absolutely no one who did.
These days, the people who still watch live tv tend to be older and used to how things used to work. The idea that everything should be digital, streaming, on demand. Everyone uses ad-block and etc are Millennial generation ideas. Not wrong, Just not how your parents did it.
That said, personally, I've found the 'no commercials ever' to have its downsides. Commercial breaks were when you got up and refilled water, when you came in the room to talk before the show came back on, when you got to switch over and watch a few minutes of the wrestling/sports show you wouldn't otherwise get to see any of. See? I'm nostalgic for it even though I know its an inferior way of doing things.
Oh and the reason people don't just switch today is more or less human nature. Imagine tomorrow if the streaming stuff became old and the way it used to be was the it thing. If everyone started doing it, if it was cheaper and proven to be better and all that jazz. How easy would you find it to drop what your currently used too completely and go to something utterly different? A bit of suspension of disbelief needed to get the metaphor but there you go. That's why people still use the old system, human beings like order, not change.
I've always found it interesting how American football is basically a sport designed around commercial breaks.
But yes, TV and pretty much all aspects of life in the USA seem to be wrought with advertising. That being said, on the rare occasion I turn on one of the ad-supported TV channels here in Finland I'm always surprised by the amount of ads they stuff into the breaks.
I studied advertising a couple of years ago. So few people in my age bracket watch TV that the teachers had to bring advertisements they'd recorded off of TV into class to facilitate discussions around the subject.
While I don't currently have cable/satellite I kinda want it back. My internet throws fits from time to time and it sucks not being able to watch anything when it does. Also sucks that CW shows aren't on Hulu, so I can't easily keep up with them.
That said, I wouldn't watch anything live. Just DVR everything.
I'm in the UK. I'm used to there being no ad breaks at all on almost everything I watch. That's just on the BBC channels, but it seems to stop the commercial channels from going too crazy.
I visit the in-laws in Canada most years, and find the TV there completely unwatchable. Constant ad breaks, pop-up ads and, worst of all, no obvious indication that an ad break has started so you are watching a scene trying to work out if it is still the show you were enjoying.
I feel that the greed for advertising time has pushed people away from traditional TV and will be commercial TV's undoing.
@bprjctx: I don't have access to what would probably be called "TV" by most people (ie, cable or satellite or over the air antenna). All the things I passively watch on screens are either DVDs and Blu-Rays, as well as Netflix/Amazon instant streaming. I do have to suffer through ads on YouTube, but I mute them and look away from the screen if they are unskippable. Having seen TV that is on in the background at friend's houses, I don't get how they watch the shows themselves, let alone sit through the ads.
I cut the cord over fives years ago. No cable TV and I cannot get terrestrial signals in the middle of the ocean where I live, so I don't even have the option of waiting normal broadcast TV. So, I only deal with commercials online on YouTube.
As for why Americans deal with so many commercials? We are used to it. The amount of commercials and their length has not changed radically in 50 years, bt a mere few % really. TV watching with multiple short breaks is what we are used to, and we had "strategized" our lives around it. Go to the bathroom. Grab a cuppa. Discuss something we need to say to someone in the room. Those are all activities we do (or did) during tv watching. Hell, even in 2017 I'm sure added to all of the above there is now, checking Facebook, look at texts, or answer an email during a break.
While there is now the concept of "binge watching" a show where there are no commercial breaks, you can think of that activity as additive to how we watch TV not as a replacement or a change to the basic pattern...at least not yet.
This is the primary reason that I don't watch tv shows on tv anymore. There were certain shows that I would watch every week, but now, I just wait for it to come out on DVD so that I can rent it, or I'll wait for it to come out on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. If it isn't available on any of these, then I just don't watch it. Although, it is unusual for none of these services to get a particular show, especially if it's rather new.
Also, the amount of time for every 30 minutes that is actual show is about 22 minutes. So, every hour that means that you're getting 44 minutes of show and 16 minutes of commercials. When you're watching a show without commercials, you'd be surprised just how many more episodes you can watch in less time. If you have an hour long show that's 22 episodes (about the average from what I've seen) with commercials, it would take 22 hours to watch (obviously). If you have the same show without commercials, it comes to only a little more than 16 hours. That's six full hours of commercials, i.e. wasted time, you're cutting out.
DVR/Tivo. I recently ran into a circumstance where I had to watch a show live because I was somewhere weird and couldn't tape it, I didnt' know what to do with myself, I remember having to plan out things to do during the breaks, bathroom, snack, etc. Commercials have ruined the NFL for me, I couldn't get enough of it 5 years ago but the amount, quality and repetition of commercials kills it for me, and you can't tape it, no way. I just watch the fourth quarter now like it was basketball.
It's funny how for a few years there, if you ran in Tivo circles, people would say--"Sweet, lemme Tivo this," "Hold on a sec, just gonna Tivo this," etc. to describe the action of saving a show for later. Then cable and satellite companies got DVRs as part of the service and nobody I know really ended up saying "Ima DVR this real quick," we just went back to saying "Tape that shit for me," which I love. I hope to piss off some kid who thinks he's all futuristic one day by saying that.
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