NBC To Reduce Ad Load, Lessen Reliance On Traditional Measurements

NBCUniversal plans further commercial load cuts and less reliance on “legacy” measurement.

“Our industry faces an exciting inflection point, we must go even further,” says Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships, NBCUniversal, in an end-of-year memo sent to staffers.

In March, NBC said it would reduce its prime-time commercial ad loads by 10% across its networks and its average length of commercial breaks by 20%.

“People love our premium content and trust our family of networks. We must honor their experience as we design better ways to engage with brands. That’s why we’ll continue to reduce time and clutter and expand Prime Pods across the portfolio.”

This season, NBC started one-minute Prime Pods, which began airing in the 50 top shows on NBCU’s broadcast and cable networks this season.

Also, Yaccarino says: “We’re going to lessen our reliance on legacy measurement. Instead, we’ll continue to invest in measurement that focuses on audiences and business outcomes, including scaling CFlight across our entire portfolio.”



CFlight was introduced last season. It expands NBC’s guarantees in covering advertisers’ entire campaigns on its platforms -- beyond standard industry metrics of C3 or C7, the average minute commercial ratings plus three or seven days of time-shifted viewing.

NBCU will also concentrate on expanding efforts around more automated buying offerings. In addition, it will focus more on “safety” -- especially on digital platforms, where there is high concern over fraud.

NBC will continue to build advertiser platforms for “mass reach and targeted audiences,” part of its effort in starting ROI programs for direct-to-consumer businesses.

3 comments about "NBC To Reduce Ad Load, Lessen Reliance On Traditional Measurements".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 26, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.

    Wayne, my understanding was that NBCU was cutting commercial clutter only on its new series shows and that many of these would be on its heavily ad-cluttered cable channels, not the broadcast TV network. Isn't that corrct?Or have they made the changes on all of their primetime programs?

  2. John Harpur from Yellow Submarine, November 26, 2018 at 5:20 p.m.

    I've noticed that the first break in This Is Us is just 60 seconds; but then later breaks, especially the last one are extra long. And so, clutter is not really reduced. I don't watch much TV and so don't know if this tactic is used in other programs or by other networks. 

    But this type of commercial scheduling creates other issues. Are advertisers paying a premium for fixed position in the one minute break/pod? If this position is sold seperately, then other advertisers, expecting a fair and equal rotation within the program are  being cheated. 

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 26, 2018 at 6:04 p.m.

    John, I assume that the "premium" spots in the short breaks are sold separately and, as has been reported---but not comfirmed----at much higher CPMs than is usual. The only way that this would work---in my view---would be for these audiences---GRPs---to be guaranteed separately from the much more numerous ad cluttered, lower CPM, ads. That way the seller could not claim credit for overdelivery on the "regular breaks". I must say, however, that I totally support this move----if it is handled properly-----as it's good for those brands that are willing to pay more to generate higher than normal ad awareness. It's also good for viewers who, will get very small doses of advertising in some primetime commercial breaks. And it's great for the sellers. Imagine a scenario sometime in the future, when they reduce overall ad clutter by 10%---at a loss of 10% of ad dollars---but convert 25% of what is left into "premium" placements at triple the CPM..

Next story loading loading..