A common complaint in Australia, and other countries, is the amount of commercial breaks that are allowed during programs.
The normal Australian TV Advert break is for 6 x 30 second adverts at a time, so a 3 minute break, with about 5 breaks per hour. This adds up to about 15 minutes per hour of advertising. However, during the hours 6pm to Midnight, this is reduced to a total of just 13 minutes. This may well explain why we sometimes get told that the next advert is a “seriously short advert break“, and not to go away.
Australian Broadcast Rules allow the following:
There are firm limits on the amount of commercial and promotional matter scheduled in any one hour, and lower overall limits between 6.00pm and midnight;
Clause 5.6 – On any day each licensee may in each hour schedule on average no more than the following amounts of non-program matter:
13 minutes; between 6.00pm and midnight outside election periods,
14 minutes; between 6.00pm and midnight in election periods, provided that on average no more than 13 minutes per hour comprises non-program matter that is not political matter;
15 minutes; at all other times –provided licensees comply with added restrictions in C and P periods
Clause 5.7 – In any hour, each licensee may (provided that the averages in Clause 5.6 are satisfied) schedule the following amounts of non-program matter:
15 minutes; between 6.00pm and midnight outside election periods – up to 15 minutes per hour, but with no more than 14 minutes scheduled in any four of those hours;
15 minutes; between 6.00pm and midnight in election periods – up to 15 minutes per hour, plus one minute per hour of non-program matter that is political matter;
16 minutes; at all other times outside election periods – up to 16 minutes
In comparison, the United Kingdom TV advertising rules state only 12 minutes maximum per hour, or 8 minute between 6pm and 11pm, for some channels:
Time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots on any channel in any one hour must not exceed 12 minutes.
On public service channels, time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots must not exceed an average of 7 minutes per hour for every hour of transmission time across the broadcasting day.
Breaks during programmes on public service channels may not exceed 3 minutes 50 seconds, of which advertisements may not exceed 3 minutes 30 seconds.