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Why You’ll Be Seeing Fewer Ads During ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live - Season 41Saturday Night Live - Season 41
Kenan Thompson, Colin Jost, and Michael Che during SNL's Weekend Update.Photo by Dana Edelson—NBC/NBCU/Photo Bank via Getty Images

America’s longest-running variety show is cutting down on ads in a big way.

Saturday Night Live will reduce the amount of advertisements it airs by about 30%, AdWeek reports. The change, which is scheduled to go into effect this fall when SNL rings in its 42nd season, will get rid of two commercial breaks during the 90 minute show.

“As the decades have gone by, commercial time has grown,” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels told the media news site. “This will give time back to the show and make it easier to watch the show live.”

The audience for original SNL episodes has grown this year by 50%. Each episode is now averaging 8.6 million viewers within the first week after airing. It’s possible that getting rid of some ads will help grow the show’s live audience. NBC (NBC) will fill up the extra ad time with pre-taped SNL segments as well as sponsored content.


The network made a similar announcement earlier this year when, as Fortune reported, it said it would cut down on ads across the channel. NBC did this by teaming up with American Express (AXP) to create sponsored content for certain shows, including Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Voice.