Lifetime commercials 2016

Lifetime commercials 2016 DEFAULT

TV networks vowed to cut back on commercials. Instead, they stuffed in more

Does it seem like there are more TV ads lately? You’re not imagining it.

The amount of commercial time on cable TV keeps increasing as networks try to make up for shrinking audiences by stuffing more ads into every hour of television. That’s despite years of promises to cut back on ads.

Last quarter, commercial time rose 1%, according to Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC. After declining in , the volume of ads increased every quarter last year and expanded again in the first half of , he said. Fox was the only major cable network group to lower its ads last quarter, cutting them by 2%, Nathanson said.

As TV viewership declines and more consumers jump to streaming services like Netflix, media companies have only a couple of options to generate the advertising revenue that Wall Street expects: They can raise prices, run more commercials or do a little of both.

“Look at the decline in ratings,” Nathanson said. “Everyone’s got pressure to make their quarterly numbers. Long term, it’s a very bad decision, but you don’t want to miss your numbers and have your stock go down.”

Media companies are adding more commercials because sponsors are more sensitive to price increases than to clutter, said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at the advertising giant GroupM. And if a TV network were to cut the time allotted for commercials, it would need to boost advertising rates to make up the difference — a tough sell if rival networks aren’t doing the same, Wieser said.

The result is “an economic standoff” between the networks and advertisers, according to Howard Shimmel, the former chief research officer at Turner, which is now part of AT&T Inc. And the losers are viewers.

“Networks can’t afford to cut their commercial loads dramatically without it affecting ad revenue,” said Shimmel, who now runs his own consulting firm. “And ad agencies aren’t willing to accept dramatically higher prices for more commercial time.”

The big issue isn’t the total amount of commercial time, but the long breaks that viewers must endure, Shimmel said.

“If you have to wait six minutes for your content to come back in a world where people have remotes and can quickly switch to Netflix or Hulu, that exacerbates the issue,” he said.

Too many commercials probably isn’t the main reason people cancel their cable-TV service, he said. “But it’s definitely in the top five.”

Media companies say they get it and have pledged in the past to scale back commercials to avoid alienating younger viewers accustomed to watching TV ad-free on Netflix. By airing fewer ads, networks say, the remaining ones will become more memorable, and thus more valuable, allowing them to charge more. In , for example, Turner cut the commercial time on TruTV and three new shows on TNT.

But these moves haven’t extended across the company. Turner’s commercial load rose % last quarter to more than 12 minutes per hour, according to Nathanson. A spokesman for the broadcaster said the increase reflected higher ad loads at the kids channel Boomerang, while TruTV cut its ad minutes by 8% and other networks were little changed.

AT&T, which bought Turner parent Time Warner Inc. last year, has said the $billion deal will ultimately lead to fewer commercials. The company expects to harvest valuable viewer data that leads to higher ad rates.

In , Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish said during an earnings call that his company’s commercial minutes “were unhealthily high” and that he planned to reduce them. Viacom currently has the most commercial time of the major cable network owners, with over 14 minutes every hour, Nathanson said. A spokesman declined to comment.

In February , Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships at Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, pledged to reduce prime-time commercial minutes by 10% across its networks, which include USA, MSNBC and Bravo. The company has followed through on that promise and plans to cut more ads during prime time next year, spokesman Joe Benarroch said.

“Ad reduction is something NBCU takes extremely seriously,” Benarroch said, adding that “there’s still more to be done.”

Sometimes, programming changes can drive shifts in advertising. A+E Networks raised the ad load at its newer Viceland channel by almost 19% after a few years of reduced commercial time. The increase lifted A+E’s overall load by % in the second quarter.

Long term, the creeping increase in ad loads should be a worry. Nathanson’s firm surveyed consumers and found that “the No. 1 reason people like Netflix is because it’s commercial-free.”


Lifetime (TV network)

American cable and satellite television channel

Lifetime is an American basic cable channel that is part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a subsidiary of A&E Networks, which is jointly owned by Hearst Communications and The Walt Disney Company.[1][2] It features programming that is geared toward women or features women in lead roles. As of January&#;[update], it is received by million households in America.[3]



Daytime, originally called BETA, was launched in March by Hearst-ABC Video Services.[4][5][6] The cable service operated four hours per day on weekdays. The service was focused on alternative women's programming.[5]

Cable Health Network[edit]

Cable Health Network was launched as a full-time channel in June with a range of health-related programming. In November , Cable Health Network adopted a new name, Lifetime Medical Television.[5]


Hearst/ABC-Viacom Entertainment Services[edit]

Lifetime was established on February 1, , as the result of a merger of Hearst/ABC's Daytime and Viacom's Lifetime Medical Television.[4][5] A board for the new network was formed with equal representation from Hearst, ABC, and Viacom, and the board elected Thomas Burchill as the new network's first CEO.[7] It was not an initial success, reportedly losing $36 million in its first two years of operation, and did not become profitable until [8] The channel suffered from low viewership, with a poll reportedly finding that some TV viewers erroneously believed it carried religious content.[8]

In , Lifetime started branding itself as "Talk Television" with a nightly lineup of talk shows and call-in programs hosted by people including Regis Philbin and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. In the process, the creators dropped the apple from the logo.

In , Lifetime hired Patricia Fili as its head of programming. In the first three years of her tenure, she changed 60 percent of Lifetime's programming, by her own estimate.[8] In addition to overhauling Lifetime's signature talk show, Attitudes, by hiring a new producer and refocusing it on current women's issues, Fili acquired the rights to syndicated network hits like Moonlighting and L.A. Law. She also oversaw the production of the first Lifetime movies ever made, along with carrying the final three seasons of the Blair Brown–starring dramedyThe Days and Nights of Molly Dodd from NBC after the network canceled it. The network also showed movies from the portfolios of its owners, Hearst, ABC, and Viacom.[7] In , reporter Joshua Hammer stated, "Considered one of cable TV's backwaters, [] Lifetime network was replete with annoying gabfests for housewives and recycled, long-forgotten network television series, such as Partners in Crime and MacGruder and Loud. [] Under Fili's direction, Lifetime has gone a long way toward shedding its low-rent image."[8]

Lifetime began airing a limited amount of women's sports coverage, including the WNBA and the America's Cup, in which it sponsored the first women's crew team to compete. McCormick also strengthened the network's ties with women's organizations such as the National Organization for Women, and began airing public service announcements about women's issues, such as breast cancer awareness. Lifetime also adopted a new tagline. "Lifetime – Television for Women."[7]

Meanwhile, the channel's original programming was aimed not just at women aged 24–44, but these women's spouses, who research showed watched the network in the evenings with their wives. This was done by making the male characters in Lifetime's original programming – such as the film series Spencer for Hire – more appealing to men by making them more masculine. These roles were more stereotypical than previous Lifetime movies, which usually featured women protagonists on their own. This helped Lifetime take advantage of a known bias in the Nielsen ranking system that favored "upscale" couples who shared a television set. By January , Lifetime was the sixth most-highly rated subscription network by Nielsen.[7]

Lifetime Entertainment Services[edit]

In , TCI, one of the United States' largest subscription providers, announced that it would no longer carry Lifetime in certain markets to make room for the soon-to-be-launched Fox News Channel, in which TCI held a financial stake.[9] According to Lifetime executives, the network stood to lose up to one million subscribers due to TCI's move.[9] However, Lifetime published advertisements in some of the markets that would be affected – including Eugene, Oregon and Newport, Rhode Island – informing customers that TCI was removing the only network that was made for women.[7] After TCI customers called the company to complain, TCI cut back the number of homes that would lose Lifetime to approximately , Still, women's groups and politicians rallied behind Lifetime.[9] Colorado representative Patricia Schroeder called TCI's decision a "power play" between TCI chief executive John Malone and Fox executive Rupert Murdoch, and said, "Women kind of feel like they're being rolled over so that the guys who run these companies can make more money."[9]

Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank said that the decision showed that Fox "might have an agenda of its own that is anti-woman."[9] TCI executives were surprised and angry about the public's reaction. TCI's vice president of programming was quoted in The New York Times as saying, "I resent the implication that they are the women's network. Other networks come in to us and say Lifetime is not telling the truth. Lifetime is a women's channel only in name and advertising. [] It programs for ratings." TCI senior vice president Robert Thomson stated that the reaction was "laughably out of scale," based on the fact that less than 10 percent of Lifetime's audience would be affected. TCI executives chalked the politicians' reactions up to lobbying by Lifetime and it being an election year, and suggested to the Times that in retaliation, Disney (one of Lifetime's parent companies), may have trouble launching a new network on TCI.[9] In , it was reported that Lifetime had million subscribers.[10]

A&E ownership[edit]

On August 27, , Lifetime was acquired by A&E Networks; the company was already owned by Lifetime's shareholders Hearst and Disney, but with additional shares owned by NBC Universal.[11][12][1][2] NBCUniversal divested its stake in A&E Networks in , once again leaving the network as a Disney/Hearst joint venture.[13][14]


Main article: List of Lifetime original programming

See also: Category:Lifetime (TV network) original programming

Lifetime's original content is currently composed of made-for-TV films and reality series, such as Dance Moms. The network states that it "is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families."[15]

In the past, Lifetime used to air several game shows in daytime and early evenings, including Supermarket Sweep, Shop 'til You Drop, Rodeo Drive, Born Lucky, and Debt. Lifetime also produced one original game show (Who Knows You Best?, starring Gina St. John), with a format based on The Newlywed Game; it was canceled after one season. The network has also previously produced scripted dramas, such as Devious Maids and Witches of East End.

The network currently airs a mix of second-run syndicated series (such as How I Met Your Mother and Grey's Anatomy) during the daytime hours. In the past, Lifetime has revived several programs that originally aired on other networks. In , it bought the rights to the existing 26 episodes of The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd from its original broadcaster NBC, and produced 39 additional episodes of the series. Lifetime did not renew the show reportedly because of low ratings and the high cost to produce the program.[8] In late , the network began to air new episodes of America's Most Wanted, a program canceled in series form by Fox at the end of the –11 season,[16] although special feature episodes continued to air intermittently on Fox. Lifetime aired more than 40 new episodes of the program before cancelling it in [16]

In , Lifetime premiered Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, a story about the relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.[17]


For a more comprehensive list, see Category:Lifetime (TV network) films.

Lifetime airs many films targeted to women – made-for-television films produced for the channel as well as those previously broadcast on other networks, and some feature films, both on the main network and on Lifetime Movies (a spin-off pay television channel that was launched in ; formerly Lifetime Movie Network). The channel also produces its own television films as Lifetime Pictures.


In its early years, Lifetime occasionally broadcast coverage of women's professional sports. From its inaugural season in to , Lifetime was one of three broadcasters of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), alongside NBC and ESPN. In , Lifetime phased out its live broadcasts and replaced them with an original series documenting the lives of WNBA players. The network stated that it wanted to focus on "stories" rather than event coverage; Lifetime transferred its package of games to ESPN2.[18][19] As part of an arrangement with Raycom Sports, the network also broadcast the LPGA's Tournament of Champions in [20]

In February , A&E Networks acquired an equity stake in the National Women's Soccer League, and announced that Lifetime would broadcast a weekly, Saturday-afternoon game beginning in the season.[21][22]


Lifetime launched an HD simulcast on April 16, [23]

International versions[edit]


Main article: Lifetime (Canada)

On May 30, , Canadian television broadcaster Shaw Media announced that it would rebrand Showcase Diva, a Category B subscription specialty channel as the Canadian version of Lifetime under a licensing agreement with A+E Networks; Showcase Diva relaunched as Lifetime on August 27, [24]

Southeast Asia[edit]

Main article: Lifetime (Southeast Asian TV channel)

AETN All Asia Networks plans to bring the Lifetime channel into Southeast Asia. The channel began broadcasting on June 14, , p.m with Astro and StarHub TV being two of the first providers to carry Lifetime in Asia. In July, available in Hong Kongnow TV channel And since September 1, , Lifetime Asia airs in the Philippines on Dream Satellite TV channel 18 and SkyCable.[25]

United Kingdom and Ireland[edit]

Main article: Lifetime (UK and Ireland)

A+E Networks UK launched a version of Lifetime for the UK and Ireland in November [26] The network was unsuccessful in the market, as Lifetime's program contractors instead distributed their programming on different networks, and it slowly lost rights over the years. The channel closed at on March 1, , after A+E Networks UK contracted with Discovery+ to carry Lifetime's original network-produced American programming in the UK and Ireland.[27]

Latin America[edit]

Lifetime announced the launch of a Latin American version of the network, which launched on July 1, , in association with Sony Pictures Television Latin America.[28] It supplanted the now-defunct Sony Spin channel (formerly known as Locomotion from to and Animax from to ) on the Amazonas satellite serving South America. Lifetime Latin America is currently distributed by Ole Distribution, currently based in Bogotá, Colombia, under license from A+E Networks Latin America and Sony Pictures Television Latin America. In Brazil, its programming is fully dubbed in Portuguese.

In Mexico, it was launched on October 1, , replacing The Biography Channel.


A+E Networks launched the African version of Lifetime on Channel on DStv on July 22, [29]Lifetime launched on Zuku TV on Channel


A+E Networks launched a version of Lifetime for Israel on September 14, , replaced The Biography Channel.[30]


On March 16, , A&E Television Networks has announced that Lifetime (Turkey) channel was launched on April 26, , in Turkey with cooperation of Multi Channel Developers.[31]

South Korea[edit]

A localized version of Lifetime was launched on September 22, , by A+E Networks Asia-Pacific and local company iHQ. Its programming primarily consists of Korean dramas, talk shows, and entertainment programs. Backstreet Rookie is the first Korean drama invested in by the channel.[32]


In , A&E Television Networks will launch a version of Lifetime for the Middle East & Northern Africa region.[citation needed]


A&E Television Networks launched a version of Lifetime Movie Network for the Australia and New Zealand region on September 1, , as a joint venture with the Foxtel network.[33][34]


LRW logo png
Picture formati (SDTV; most current-day programming presented in widescreen letterbox)
LaunchedAugust&#;20, ; 20 years ago&#;()
Available on some cable providersChannel slots vary on each service
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LRW (Lifetime Real Women) is an American pay television channel which is intended as a complementary service to the main Lifetime network. It was launched in August , mainly as a response to Lifetime's challenges from the then-launching WE tv and Oxygen networks for the women's network market.[35] LRW is available in over 10 million homes via some cable providers, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-verse. The network has a mixture of comedies, dramas, how-to, game shows and reality programming that had once aired or is currently airing on the main Lifetime network, and formerly imported series with rights held by Lifetime but no carriage due to the main network's current format. LRW also features no original series or films, deferring from Lifetime and LMN, though it did burn off the Lifetime reality series Love Handles: Couples in Crisis, which only aired twice on the main network.

DirecTV carried the network until July Orby TV also carried the network for the last year of that service's existence.

Overall carriage has declined as providers choose instead to carry high definition networks rather than standard definition-only channels such as LRW without original programming, and Lifetime itself promoting on-demand access to past series.

Lifetime Movie Club[edit]

On July 2, , Lifetime launched a streaming service branded as Lifetime Movie Club (LMC). The service offers over 2, titles, both originally-produced & acquired by Lifetime.


  1. ^ abSchneider, Michael (August 27, ). "A&E Acquires Lifetime". Variety. Archived from the original on March 3, Retrieved April 11,
  2. ^ abAtkinson, Claire (August 27, ). "A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger Completed". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on July 29, Retrieved April 11,
  3. ^"Cable Network Coverage Area Household Universe Estimates: January ". Archived from the original on October 14, Retrieved August 23,
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  7. ^ abcdeMeehan, Eileen and Jackie Byars. "Telefeminism: How Lifetime Got Its Groove: –" The Television Studies ReaderArchived June 17, , at the Wayback Machine. Psychology Press,
  8. ^ abcdeHammer, Joshua. "Programmer Revives Lifetime Cable Channel" (Page 1)Archived February 25, , at the Wayback Machine, (Page 2)Archived February 24, , at the Wayback Machine, Spartanburg Herald-Journal (South Carolina), July 13, Retrieved July 7,
  9. ^ abcdefCarter, Bill. "Plan to Cut TV Channel Angers Women's GroupsArchived July 1, , at the Wayback Machine." The New York Times, September 14, Retrieved July 7,
  10. ^Winfrey, Lee. "The Man Who Leads A Women's Channel, Doug McCormick, Has Raised Lifetime's VisibilityArchived January 9, , at the Wayback Machine." The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 22, Retrieved July 7,
  11. ^A&E Acquires LifetimeArchived November 2, , at the Wayback Machine,, August 27,
  12. ^A&E Networks, Lifetime Merger CompletedArchived July 29, , at the Wayback Machine, Broadcasting & Cable, August 27,
  13. ^Goldsmith, Jill (July 10, ). "Comcast to sell A&E stake for $3 billion: A&E to redeem the % stake". Variety. Archived from the original on February 23, Retrieved July 11,
  14. ^Lakritz, Talia (January 28, ). "14 companies you didn't realize Disney owns". Insider. Retrieved September 22,
  15. ^Press Release from A+E Networks: Lifetime Locks in Double-Digit Year-Over-Year Growth for Second Quarter Archived at the Wayback Machine, July 2,, retrieved July 7,
  16. ^ abGoldberg, Lesley. Lifetime Cancels 'America's Most Wanted'Archived July 1, , at the Wayback Machine, The Hollywood Reporter, March 28, Retrieved July 7,
  17. ^Andreeva, Nellie (January 15, ). "Prince Harry & Meghan Markle TV Movie Set At Lifetime". Deadline. Archived from the original on January 16, Retrieved January 17,
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  19. ^"WNBA coverage on Lifetime". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 4, Retrieved February 3,
  20. ^"LPGA SIGNS DEAL TO SHOW TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS ON LIFETIME". Sports Business Daily. Archived from the original on February 4, Retrieved February 3,
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  22. ^"A+E Networks, National Women's Soccer League Ink Major Deal". Variety. Archived from the original on February 3, Retrieved February 3,
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  24. ^Shaw Media and A&E to Launch Two New Specialty ChannelsArchived March 29, , at the Wayback Machine, Broadcaster Magazine, May 30,
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  26. ^"November UK launch for A+E's Lifetime". Broadband TV News. September 29, Archived from the original on November 29, Retrieved October 3,
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Commercials during network programming are more than just an inconvenience as you try to enjoy some entertainment. In truth, commercials are time burglars, vampires that drain away a shocking portion of your life &#; roughly 4 years over the course of a normal American life. The data doesn&#;t lie. What follows are some stunning statistics about how much of your time you&#;ve wasted watching commercials as well as some extrapolations about the rest of your life. Spoiler: you&#;re about to feel depressed and more than a little bit angry.

You Watch Over an Hour of Commercials Every Day

To decipher how much time you spend watching commercials during the course of your lifetime, the first thing you must calculate is simple. How much television do you watch on a daily basis? While people are snowflakes and everyone&#;s answer is different, statistics show that Americans watch minutes each day. That&#;s four hours and 42 minutes spent in front of the boob tube or, for anyone under the age of 30, in front of a computer monitor or smart phone. In other words, we as a people watch waaaaaay too much television.

How many commercials do we watch during this viewing time? As our society moves toward over the top television programming, the logical conclusion is that we&#;d experience less exposure to commercials. Alas, that&#;s simply not true. Broadcasters are more desperate than ever to monetize a dying industry. That&#;s why commercial usage is rising steadily. In , an hour of television included only 13 minutes and 25 seconds worth of ads. Only five years later, the number increased to 15 minutes and 38 seconds on cable television. That&#;s more than two minutes of extra commercials every hour!

More Ads Means Less Programming

The worst part of the increase in commercial length is that networks are reducing shows at a corresponding ratio. You&#;re getting less of the programs you love, sometimes as little as 20 minutes for your favorite sitcoms, in order to load them with additional advertisements. What&#;s especially brutal about this financial decision is that the most popular shows are the ones most likely to suffer this fate. They&#;re the rainmakers for networks, which means that The Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead will feature more commercials than a program that&#;s constantly on the verge of cancellation. In fact, one of the reasons why The Walking Dead has oversized episodes on occasion is not due to having larger stories but instead more opportunities to insert commercials.

How does a shady business practice like this impact you? Let&#;s start with some basics. If you&#;re watching 15 minutes and 38 seconds of commercials every hour, that&#;s 31 minutes and 16 seconds every two hours. Doubling that is 62 minutes and 32 seconds for four fours. Since the average American watches another 42 minutes, the calculation winds up being about 73 minutes and 30 seconds of advertising during the average day.

What Would You Do with That Extra Hour?

Before we go any further, stop and think about that for a moment. You are spending an hour and almost 15 minutes each day watching commercials. Let&#;s presume that you want to live a healthier life with that time. If you went to a gym that required a few minutes of travel to and from the facility, you&#;d have roughly an hour to work out each day.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that the average human should aspire to work out half an hour, so you&#;re already doubling the recommended daily exercise allotment. You could burn calories during this hour simply by jogging at the gym. A more strenuous workout would mean at least 50 percent more calories thanks to the enhanced cardio. I&#;m not saying you&#;d be able to best the Mountain in a physical competition after that sort of daily workout, but you&#;d be lean and mean. Instead, you watch creepy commercials about abdominal pain. The next time you look in the mirror and don&#;t like what you see, remember that it&#;s not your fault. It&#;s the commercials, dammit!

An Hour a Day Adds Up Quickly

The scary thought is that we&#;re only discussing a single day. Let&#;s now consider how many commercials you watch during a year. That&#;s days when you&#;re spending almost an hour and fifteen sitting through ads about cars you don&#;t want to buy. That&#;s almost hours&#; worth of commercials. What could you do with that free time?

You don&#;t even have to be productive with it. You could spend 30 hours of that time beating Doom. Do you want to get caught up on some of the most popular literature of the day? Sixty hours would allow you to knock at least a dozen of these suggestions. Maybe you&#;d like to write a book, too. Spending an hour a day writing 1, words would mean you finish what I&#;m sure would be the next great American novel in two months. You could also add another 30 minutes of sleep to your routine. And even with all these positive changes in your life plus some sleep and gaming time thrown in, you&#;d still have another hours of free time to splurge on something else! Alternately, you could spend all hours working out and get RIPPED. Beefcake! Beefcake! The choice is yours. What&#;s clear is that commercials are slowly sucking the life out of you.

Also, while broadcasters are making money through your eyeballs, they&#;re robbing you. Think about how much you make an hour. Now multiply that number by Even if you&#;re working at minimum wage, that&#;s $3, you could have earned if you&#;d charged somebody else for your services. Instead, the television channel used you to sell advertising to somebody else. The numbers are even scarier when we consider the national averages. Americans earn $ per hour, which is just over $11, over hours. Think about the exotic vacation you could take with that money. Your massive umbrella drinks would get you drunk in no time, and you could buy coconut bras for everyone you meet at the swim-up bar.

How Much Of Your Life Is Wasted on Commercials? Well&#;

If the above hasn&#;t made you angry yet, you&#;re about to fly into a Hulk rage. Consider those hours of advertisements as a part of your entire existence. The life expectancy for the average American in is years. At hours of commercials each year, you&#;re going to suffer through more than 35, hours&#; worth of advertisements in your lifetime. That&#;s about 1, days. You&#;re going to spend roughly four years (!) of your life watching advertisements for erectile dysfunction that won&#;t even apply to you until the autumn years and only then if you&#;re a dude.

If you found out right now that you had four bonus years to spend, what would do with them? Would you learn a foreign language? Develop a new skill like painting or woodworking? Take up a hobby such as sailing? You could build houses as a part of Habitat for Humanity each weekend while learning to play the piano during your downtime. Instead, you&#;ll suffer through Puppy Monkey Baby again.

I say again that commercials are vampires that drain away your life. The only difference from the start of the article is that you realize it now. Final pro tip: if any OTT service like Hulu offers commercial-free programming, pay the extra money to get it. You&#;ll live a more rewarding, fulfilled life.

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