Would you swap in-game ad saturation for no commercial breaks?

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Here’s an only-in-July question that came up Wednesday morning during my weekly visit with The Mack Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte: If NFL broadcasts were to dump all commercial breaks but replace them with an infiltration of advertisements into the broadcast itself, would that be a fair trade?

More specifically, the game would never (or, at most, rarely) go to commercial. In turn, for example, the uniforms would contain corporate logos, the field would have ads superimposed over it before the snap, the static TV score/time graphics would include sales messages, and the announcers would periodically read promotions between plays or during natural breaks in the action.

With the NFL already tightening up the game-viewing experience to prevent an ADD-addled nation from changing the channel or otherwise finding something else to watch on their phone, tablet, laptop, whatever, why not go all the way and never take a break while instead flooding the screen with a flurry of pitches that actually may fit better with rewired American brains that routinely process multiple different streams of information at once?

Whether it ever happens or not, this is the kind of thinking in which the league will need to engage as it strikes the balance between keeping the game moving and keeping the cash flowing. At some point, never leaving the game may be the only way to keep fans from doing the same.

42 responses to “Would you swap in-game ad saturation for no commercial breaks?

  1. We already have in-game ad saturation AND an hour of commercials a game… Let me give you a hint, Hyundai has nothing to do with the red zone stats. As of late, I DVR the games I watch and start watching the game an hour and 20 minutes after kickoff. The only time I haven’t caught up to the end (while watching the Toyota half time report, mind you) is when the game goes to overtime. The NFL owners’ shared revenue was 7.8 billion last year… Enough is enough.

  2. Also, kickoffs, timeouts, quarterly field changes take time. Better to see a beautiful person whose primary job is acting sell E.D. meds than Pat Sumerall or Terry Bradshaw

  3. So my high priced “authentic” nfl Jersey is going to have a Viagra and Pizza Hut logo on it ?

  4. I’ve seen a game or two on Sky UK.

    Instead of a commercial, they go back to the studio and several ex-NFL players discuss whatever just happened on the last drive.

    Tons better experience, IMO.

  5. I have Sunday Ticket and it is the ultimate commercial stopper during Sunday day games. If my TV was larger than 50″, I’d be willing to let them to use 10% of the screen in-between plays.

  6. Commercial breaks > in-game ads

    Last thing I need in my life is Joe Buck promoting viagra.

  7. I DVR all games I plan on watching.
    I never watch any game live, including playoff games and the super bowl.

    Click, Click, Click, Click, Click – that was my fast skip 30 seconds, just saved me 2.5 minutes.

  8. Isn’t that what we already have? We already hear Jim Nantz telling us all to watch America’s #1 new comedy or this week on 60 Minutes after EVERY. SINGLE. COMMERCIAL. BREAK.


  9. I don’t call them ‘commercials’, I call them fluid changing breaks. 2 minutes is plenty to head to the bathroom and stop by the fridge for another beer on the way back.
    Keep your in game ads, leave the commercials. I don’t want to hear Joe Buck stumble though the “That’s another AT&T first down” or a “That’s a Fed-ex completion by Rogers.”
    Hearing “That punt return was brought to you by the good people at Viagra- When the feeling is right, reach for Viagra.” would be too much. *shudder*

  10. The difference between a European soccer broadcast and an NFL broadcast is stunning. Different game, I realize, but there are no intrusions into the action in soccer games at all, yet revenues are just about identical to NFL revenues.

    So how is it that we have to watch interruption after interruption, making an NFL game almost unwatchable in real time, and they don’t interrupt at all? Except during halftime, no commercials, no superimposed ads, no spots done by the play-by-play guys – nothing but action!

    I’d be happy with corporate sponsors logos on uniforms if it gave us that kind of experience.

  11. I foresee a mighty kickstarter that puts Goodell clown face patches on uniforms for the lols.

  12. Don’t touch the uniforms or the field – otherwise, I don’t care. I love the first down line, hate the LOS line, hate the big arrow that reads “1&10” or “3&13”..etc. it’s already in the score corner, we don’t need that.

    NFL needs to keep the game on TV looking real – not video game like.

  13. I’d much rather watch a condensed game in 90 minutes with in-game ads than 2 hours of commercials in a 4 hour “game”. Soccer games do it. Not ideal but better than a ton of commercials

  14. No no no no NO this is a terrible idea. Commercial BREAK is the key word here. it’s a break for commercials. With logos everywhere and live reads there won’t be a break from commercials.

    I just DVR the games I want to watch then start watching about an hour after gametime. I fast forward through all the commercials. I really don’t want to see a time where team jerseys look like NASCAR driver suits. That might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back with watching sports for me.

  15. How about no commercial breaks at the cost of listening to Colin Kaepernick do 30 minutes of spoken word poetry?

    People will be BEGGING for the Cialis to come back!

  16. Jimmy, Howie, Terry, Tony, Bobbie, Phily, Jamesy, Tracy, Greggie, Joey Bucky, Aly, Brenty, Vernie, Jonny, Ronnie, Suzy, Rexy, Toni, Rodney, Crissy….these are the people who should be wearing ads.

  17. I don’t mind commercial breaks unless it’s after touchdowns AND kickoffs. That’s just too much. But one way to completely turn me off from watching NFL games is to put ads in DURING games. Unacceptable. If just listen to the radio at that point.

  18. Sounds terrible at first, but this is basically what the Premier League has and IMO it’s at least an improvement on the current format. Would at least avoid the TD-commercial-PAT-commercial-kickoff-commercial-two minute warning/timeout-commercial nightmare you run into with today’s format.

    Would be a more demanding job for announcers though.

  19. I wouldnt mind if they supplemented it. Shorten commercials while having small banners between plays. I wouldnt mind have commercial breaks reserved for time outs, change of possession, injury timeouts, two minute warning. Imagine having the ball kicked off after a commercial and then actually watch them play before another set of commercials comes on.

  20. I only have one issue with commercial breaks.

    That is the TD/FG – Commercial – Kickoff – Commerial sequence. Remove one of the two commercials and I’m good.

    It was annoying back in the day when kickoff returns were common but now it feels safe to turn away from the game for 4-5 mins especially if the game is in Denver with a gauranteed touchback.

  21. Do ads even work? I honestly can’t remember a time where I saw an ad on tv and thought to myself “wow, I really would like that product”.

  22. just watch it on the Spanish channels.. The one in my city shows, old highlights, cheerleaders wearing bikinis on the beach, and promotions for Tecate Light..

  23. If the Premier League can do it…but here’s the thing: in the Premier League (or soccer in general) the action is pretty much non-stop anyway (except for red carding or other ref nonsense), whereas in the NFL you have “three-and-outs” and breaks for extra-points and time-outs and stuff. That is when the commercial breaks happen, or after TD-Xtra points, or when the quarter ends and the field is flipped. It’s when you have punts and stuff when the commercials get boring. But having commercials for the players or even coaches is a break for them, and the players need breaks from time to time. so while us TV watching fans might not like it, the NFL should still keep some of its commercials…we need pee breaks too, you know.

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