AD RATIOS ANGER VIEWERS

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Popular period drama Downton Abbey, which burst back onto our screens again this month, has been slammed for having too many adverts. In fact, almost a third – 20 minutes of the 75 allocated – were ‘wasted’ on commercials, leaving fans exasperated.

The debate has become a battle of the broadcasters, with ITV staunchly defending its schedule and demand for advertising revenue. It seems viewers have been carried away with the drama of it all (perhaps more so than the cast) and are confusing the licence-fee-paid-for-BBC with the ad-led station, formally known as channel 3.

The fury comes after a barrage of complaints followed the first episode of the new series last week. Viewers have been left feeling increasingly despondent at being ignored again, by what they perceive as ‘greedy’ ITV bosses.

ITV rightly defended its decision with a response that outlined the need to generate revenue from advertisers in order to produce quality programmes. Programmes that we’re clearly enjoying if the viewing figures are anything to go by, as 9.6million of us tuned in on Sunday, myself included.

There’s no getting around that adverts are annoying, but choice does exist. If a few interruptions mean I can watch such spectacular dramas like Downton then I can live with it. For those who can’t abide it, there’s the Beeb. And if adverts offend you that much, why not record it on your digi box and fast forward through them?