Two-thirds of TV watchers have said an increase in ads on commercial public service broadcasters (PSBs) would lead them to watch less of these channels, according to a survey.
The Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand services (COBA) found 44% said they would choose to view more content on ad-free subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services instead.
COBA commissioned the survey of 1,000 people across the UK as the country’s broadcast regulator considers loosening restrictions on PSBs on the length and frequency of ad breaks.
Ofcom said in a review of Channel 3 (ITV and STV) and Channel 5’s broadcasting licenses it would examine “the rules that set the frequency and length of advertising on TV”. The broadcast regulator is also currently reviewing sponsorship and product placement in TV programmes, with results expected next year.
The current rules allow commercial public service broadcasters to show a maximum seven minutes per hour of ads, while other broadcasters are allowed nine.
Nearly a third of respondents (30%) said they would rather watch TV without ads and one third were concerned around “the nature of TV ads” like their volume and content.
COBA chair Vanessa Brookman, who is also SVP Kids and Adult Swim EMEA at Warner Media, said: “As well as having a damaging impact on commercial revenues for the rest of the TV sector, which would impact on smaller commercial channels, increasing the volume of adverts on commercial Public Service Broadcasters would affect the viewer experience of Public Service Broadcasting. This could have greatest impact on those who may not have the choice of viewing in different ways.”