The winner of the commercial load award for 2006 had only a little more than 10 minutes per hour of ad-free show, according to a media market research firm.
Combining the duration of brand appearances (i.e. how many seconds a brand [plug] appeared onscreen) with the number of commercial minutes--including national and local ads, promos and PSAs, ABC's Oscar Countdown, pre-awards show reigned as the most commercial-loaded show of 2006 so far with a whopping 49 minutes and 18 seconds devoted to either plugs (31:28) or ads (17:50). That left only 10 minutes and 42 seconds for non-ad related programming.
That 31:28 in plugs was almost ten times the average plug load for network prime time of 3 minutes, 22 seconds, though only about four times the unscripted average of 7 minutes and 39 seconds worth of Coke cans, Ford cars, Cingular phones, etc., per hour.
Late night has the biggest load at 8:41 seconds of brandwagoning per hour, for a total of more than 31 minutes per hour of plugs/spots or, put another way, more ad-related speech than show in any average hour.
That is all according to media marketing tracker TNS Media Intelligence, which measured network TV prime time and late night. The plug figure represents the amount of time a brand appears on screen, which TNS says is a more accurate measure than simply counting appearances since some may be fleeting.
The top four network offerings in commercial/plug loads were all unscripted shows, with CBS' Price is Right prime time million-dollar showcase spectacular in second place at 44:33 (28:08 plugs, 16:25 spots) out of its 60:00.
NBC's Biggest Loser was a winner in the ad-load category, taking third place at 40:44 total, 22: 48 worth of plugs, while American Idol came in fourth (the only place that show finishes that low) with 40:26, 21:29 in plugs.