How To Stop People From Leaving Broadcast TV Behind, According To NBC's Bob Greenblatt

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Broadcast TV was once the place to be for small screen entertainment, but recent years have seen more and more platforms pop up that offer alternatives to traditional viewing. Cord-cutting has become popular among folks who once paid for cable packages, and there are plenty of ways to watch shows without sitting through some of the more tiresome aspects of broadcast television. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has an idea of how to stop people from leaving broadcast for other platforms:

Consumers hate advertising. People are running away from advertising in droves, and so that, to me, is the crux of the problem. How do we stop that from happening? We have to figure out a ways to make those interruptions a lot more palatable, a lot more entertaining, a lot more relational, or they're going to keep going. And going and going and going.

People simply don't like having to wait through commercials while sitting down for some TV time. With the exception of the Super Bowl's airing each year, few consumers likely look forward to watching ads. For as long as commercials are part of the broadcast TV viewing experience, more and more consumers may continue to depart for ad-free alternatives. Bob Greenblatt shared his perspective on advertising on television during an appearance at a forum all about the advertising and measurement in TV and the digital video business, according to Deadline.

A big question is how exactly channels can reduce advertising to hold onto viewers without losing a huge chunk of revenue. Premium cable networks like HBO and Starz can get away with commercial-free content, and most streaming services at least have a commercial-free option (although sometimes for a few extra bucks per month), but other networks almost certainly can't sustain programming without advertising revenue.

That said, perhaps one option to decrease advertisements without losing money would be to increase product placement within episodes of TV shows. Many series already include product placement, often in the form of cars driven and/or technology used by characters. Some shows prefer to sneak product placement into episodes, while others -- such as NBC's Chuck in its later seasons -- are shamelessly (and hilariously) open about the promotion. Movies use product placement all the time; perhaps the time has come for product placement to be used more frequently on the small screen.

We'll have to wait and see. Broadcast networks may need to do something sooner rather than later as viewers continue to flock toward TV platforms that don't require sitting through advertisements. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu offer all kinds of quality programming, and CBS All Access recently put itself on the map with some high-profile projects.

For the shows you can catch nowadays on network, cable, and streaming platforms, take a look at our fall TV guide and our midseason TV premiere schedule. The shows that have gotten the axe from various networks can be found on our rundown of 2017 TV cancellations. Be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.