Fox is making some big broadcasting changes to the 2020 Super Bowl.
The network has announced plans to eliminate one commercial break per quarter from Super Bowl LIV, reports Variety. It’s a move that could excite fans of the game itself, but risks irking others.
Fox will cut the number of breaks per quarter from five to four. The actual number of total commercials won’t change. Breaks will just last a bit longer.
Super Bowl commercials are pop culture events, often bigger than the game itself. Fewer breaks could drive casual fans away if the on-field action isn’t especially interesting. They can also set the trend for a company’s marketing plan for the year. And in some cases, they’re the launch pads for corporate feuds.
The move may also well result in even higher prices for advertisers. Companies pay extra to be the first or last commercial during a Super Bowl commercial break. There will be fewer of those spots this year. (Ads during the game often go for more than $5 million for a 30-second spot.)
The move is part of the league’s attempt to revive sagging ratings. Super Bowl LIII attracted 98.2 million viewers, the lowest number in 11 years. Virtually everything—from the game to the ads to the halftime show—was lambasted as “boring.”
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