Seven Network calls for reform to ‘outdated’ rules on number of ads per hour

sevenwestmedia logoThe Seven Network is calling for the current rules limiting TV networks to 14 minutes of ad breaks per hour to be scrapped.

In a statement this afternoon the TV network, which has the biggest share of the ad dollars in the market, described the current regime as “outdated” and argued that they needed more flexibility across their various channels.

“The current rules are a little out-dated and this is really just about allowing more flexibility in scheduling advertising and not running two sets of traffic systems across the various channels,” said a Seven spokesman.  

The statement comes after The Australian reported the Seven West Media Group along with Nine Entertainment had made the case for the industry body to push for a a relaxation of the regulation at the last Free TV board meeting in Sydney earlier in the month.

At the time of posting Nine had not responded to a request for comment but a spokesman for Seven said that were the changes to be implemented it would not lead to a major surge in the overall amount of TV advertising. It is understood Network Ten is against the proposals.

“We would not envisage any significant uplift in overall advertising minutes out of the changes,” he said. Increasing the number of ad breaks is a highly controversial area with the risk of a consumer backlash a major concern.

As Mumbrella revealed earlier this year, the major TV networks have already been accused “pushing the boundaries” on the number of ads in their major franchise reality shows such as The Voice, House Rules and Masterchef, filling up to a third of the program run times with commercials.

A spokesman for the Ten Network said: “We are strongly opposed to any increase in the amount of advertising in prime time programs. Such a move would disenfranchise the audience and damage the viewing experience.”

CEO of FreeTV Australia Julie Flynn declined to comment.

Nic Christensen 


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