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Study: Ad Clutter Holds Steady

Clutter Watch, media buyer MindShare’s annual analysis of primetime commercial and non-program minutes, found that broadcast and cable networks ran an average of 15 minutes of non-program material — network commercials, local spots, public service announcements and promos — per hour in primetime last year, a similar level to 2005.

“Despite concerns from the industry and research that shows clutter’s negative effects on both commercials and programs, over-commercialization continues to be a problem,” said Debbie Solomon, senior partner and research director at MindShare. “However, it is promising to see that the broadcast and cable networks held their clutter in check or even decreased it as compared to previous years.”

The big 2006 study exception: Fox News Channel, which posted a 10% increase to 15 minutes and 10 seconds of non-programming time per hour.

Overall, cable networks continue to have more clutter than broadcast. While Fox News had the largest increase over 2005 and the most commercial minutes per hour among cable networks with 13 minutes, five seconds, MTV had the most non-program minutes with 16:09.