Foxtel promises less ad breaks

By By Wenlei Ma | 20 November 2012
HBO's Boardwalk Empire screens on Foxtel.

Foxtel chief Richard Freudenstein has flagged a new strategy of shortened ad breaks to allow advertisers to cut through the clutter, as the company looks to address feedback from its customers about too many breaks.

At the MCN 'Homefronts' yesterday, Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein said: “One of the challenges we have are people who say there are too many ads, too many ad breaks. That's actually a misconception because we don't have too many ads, we have a lot less ads than free-to-air television which is why our ads are worth more.”

He added that Foxtel was experimenting with closing up the breaks on some of its channels, including Fox8, so that there would be shorter and less breaks, even if that means during off-peak times some programs don't start right on the half-hour.

MCN chief executive Anthony Fitzgerald said Foxtel currently screens approximately seven to seven-and-a-half minutes of adverts per hour compared to 13 minutes on the free-to-air commercial networks.

Meanwhile, Fitzgerald forecast more buoyant market conditions in 2013 than the previous two years. He predicted that 2013 should experience growth of between 2.5% to 3% and that TV should be within that total market range.

Additionally, he said there was potential for market growth in the March 2013 quarter but that it would depend on retail sales and if there was an early federal election.

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