NBC Promises Fewer Commercials in ‘SNL'

Add Saturday Night Live to the list of programs in which networks are promising to cut back on the number of commercials they’re packed with.

NBCUniversal on Monday said it will reduce the ad load by 30%, eliminating two commercial pods starting next season.

With fewer commercials, the odds of viewers staying awake through the late night show will probably rise.

Already Turner Broadcasting has cut the commercial load on its truTV network and said it will reduce commercials in the original shows upcoming on TNT. And Viacom, which recently has had the biggest commercial load on its networks, has also said it plans to cut back.

Amid the chorus of talk about lightening commercial loads, the number of ads fell only 1% in the first quarter, according to an analysis by Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.