TV needs fewer commercials, but the math is going to be hard



The ad industry generally accepts that reducing TV's commercial clutter would be valuable for marketers. But just how valuable it would be will one of the flashpoints at this year's upfronts, where networks will offer the bulk of their commercial inventory in the upcoming season.

While ad buyers and sellers agree that fewer interruptions are key to fighting Netflix and other rivals, the economics of really doing it are daunting.

"Conceptually, improving the commercial experience on linear TV is a great idea. It's a no-brainer," says David Campanelli, co-chief investment officer at Horizon Media. "They have overloaded commercials and you have to compete with no commercials or limited commercial platforms. But how you do that is the real challenge."

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jpoggi@adage.com (Jeanine Poggi)