Do You Skip Television Commercials Or Let Them Roll?

Do You Skip Television Commercials Or Let Them Roll?

Nielsen has recently reported that 46 per cent of viewers aren’t skipping commercials in shows recorded on their personal video recorders (PVRs). That number seemed ridiculously high to us, so we’re asking you: Do you watch, skip, or run to the kitchen on commercials?

Photo by Jesse757

In our own home, our PVR allows us to fit in TV watching during our already busy schedules. By eliminating the commercials, we’re able to watch two shows in the same time it might take us to watch one normally. But maybe your household doesn’t work like that.

Against almost every expectation, nearly half of all people watching delayed shows are still slouching on their couches watching messages about movies, cars and beer. According to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all four networks taken together are watching the commercials during playback, up slightly from last year. Why would people pass on the opportunity to skip through to the next chunk of program content?

So if 46 per cent of you are supposedly watching commercials, we want to know why. Do you actually enjoy the ads? Are you making a quick run to the loo or maybe to the fridge for snacks? Sound off in the comments!

DVR, Once TV’s Mortal Foe, Helps Ratings [The New York Times via The Atlantic]


  • I tend to skip, but I always see myself watching the first ad and the last ad. Otherwise Ill miss the beginning of my show. It’s good that stations (like Channel 10) have those 5 second sponsor ads just before the show comes on. Once you see them, its a good time to press play. Won’t miss a thing that way.

  • I record as much as I can for this purpose alone and most definitely fast forward through everything recorded.
    In fact, I’m so used to watching all my tv shows like this that I sometimes hit the fast forward button, only to realize the show I’m watching is live, not recorded, most frustrating.

    For those people who say the let the adds roll when they are doing other stuff, well your not really watching them anyway, are you?

  • Ads run only for mini intermissions.

    We love pausing a live show at the start and do something else to build up a buffer. Then skip the ads while viewing.

  • Like Rodney we also let the ads roll if the program is happening around other activities. Otherwise we FF the ads (but not skip them as we use a TiVo). In truth I actually prefer this method because I can still see the ads (even in short) and can always rewind and watch it them it proves to be interesting – e.g. – new TV show promo, or product that is of interest.

  • I HATE ads. I use an HTPC which records the shows and then runs a scan with Comskip, which removes all the commercials. If any sneak through I have my finger on the skip button of the remote.

    Tried watching some ‘live’ tv a week or two ago, and it was awful. ads every 5 minutes (was a saturday night at prime-time). ended up switching the tv off.

    No wonder everyone downloads their tv shows these days. The commercial tv stations need to wake up to themselves or no one will be watching them soon….

  • I skip right through. The function to eliminate them altogether must exist someone, although I can understand the reluctance to release.

    How about a button to jump forward blocks of time like 30 sec, 60 sec and 3 mins?

  • Girlfriend sometimes forget it’s a recording, am very quick on telling her to pass the remote over. Recording Live to watch later for this exact same reason. You’re right, this is a pretty high number.

    Should start advertising better on downloaded files (logo in the corner) so we can do it legally and get it over with.

  • I alway skip through the ads.Our PVR allows me to program how far forward I jump. I’ve set it to 30 second blocks, and jump back at 10 second increments if I overhit the mark.

    I’ll only watch an ad if it looks interesting. M&M ads always get my time. 🙂

  • My HTPC can skip ahead in a program. most stations have 3mins ads but occasionally there are 1min ,2min and 4 min blocks depending on the program. getting good at doing so and sometimes not even seeing the start or end of the add block.

  • funny. why let it run for toilet or coffee stops, when you can say pause it if your pit stop goes longer than an advert and rewind? i personally think 46% of population forget they can fast forward. thats what happened in our household when we first had the ability, we would watch something and then half way through an advert remember we had paused it and it was 30mins delayed so we could fast forward.

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