It’s been a while since I complained about TV commercials. Does that mean all is good in couch-potato-land? No, it just means things haven’t changed.
But I’ve noticed a new form of commercial lately and it’s – for some reason – particularly annoying to me. Let’s call it the Commercial Introduction. It goes like this:
This episode of Burn Notice is being brought to you by Hyundai.
This weeks CSI Miami is presented by T-Mobile.
Almost every sponsor and show is using this in some combination, followed by, you guessed it, the commercial.
Wait a minute. Why do we need to waste time telling us that the show is paid for by commercials? And what about the five or six other commercials that follow after that one. Isn’t Burn Notice brought to us by all of them? We all already know that commercials are a necessary evil that pays for the entertainment we watch. Do they have to rub it in? And do they really need so many?
Look, I don’t mind paying for TV by watching a few commercials, as long as you let me run to the fridge at the same time… We have TV stations and satellites using radio spectrum, ostensibly for the public benefit, and making a profit doing so. But that spectrum is a public trust, just as much as a river, or lake or national forest is. We have a government agency to administer it, the FCC. They divide it up for a lot of necessary uses. Police, Fire, Ambulance and all sorts of public safety is one example of it’s use. TV and Radio is another. Business, the Military and a long list of other uses of the public radio spectrum are all managed as well. But, regardless of the category, or it’s presumed use, all radio spectrum is public property held in trust for us by the government.
So, it really makes me mad to have excessive commercials. I have to accept their word that they need all of them to pay the bills (and their fat paychecks) but must they keep thinking of ways to sneak new ones in? Does a commercial really need an introduction pointing out that it “brings” us the show we’re watching? Pul-leeze….