Last Night’s Episode of Big Bang Theory was Barely 18 Minutes

watch the big bang theory online

Big Bang Theory‘ is always one of the highest rated comedies on television as millions of people tune in to watch each week. With that in mind, ad spots during the show cost a premium compared to say, a declining show in a sub-optimal time slot.

So it should come as no surprise that CBS would want to maximize the number of ads they are able to stuff into a show’s time slot with ratings that continually brings in 15-20 million weekly viewers.

But something almost completely absurd happened during last night’s first episode of 2016, as the airtime of the actual episode barely reached 18 minutes of actual content. The average HOUR of broadcast television normally has upwards of 14 and a half minutes of commercials, so it seems completely excessive that one 30 minute slot of television would have almost 12 minutes of advertisements.

When we polled readers earlier in the year as to whether or not they’d rather pay more for Netflix or have Netflix introduce advertisements in order to bring in more content, overwhelmingly, 79% of you said you’d much prefer to pay more.

It’s no wonder, when networks start behaving in such a way that they feel 12 minutes of a 30 minute slot is fair game for commercials, that more and more people are looking for ways to go ad-free through streaming services. Hulu recently introduced its ad-free option for $4 a month, Netflix has promised to always remain ad-free, with CEO Reed Hastings squashing all rumors of potential introduction of ads, and sentiment in general towards the overwhelming presence of commercials has only continued to sour.

To be frank, this most recent push of slimming down a show’s airtime in order to maximize revenue doesn’t seem like a trend that’s going away anytime soon. As network profits continue to decline, it makes sense they will look for ways to solve the problem with hot-fixes like this recent display, instead of perhaps looking for ways that actually appease the larger consumer base.

  • chief1983

    After watching all of Star Trek on Netflix, it was interesting to note the steady decline in the content:commercial ratio for one hour and half hour shows. Whereas TOS was ~54 minutes on average of content, by Enterprise, it was barely passing the 40 minute mark some weeks. I’m not sure which hour long slots are only doing 14 minutes of ads these days, most of the shows that I watch ad-free are < 45 minutes long, meaning 16-20 minutes of commercials. Most half hour shows are clocking in at just over 20 minutes these days, but jumping all the way down to 18 minutes like that is just sad. I think we're approaching, or have already passed the tipping point where most people are going to just give up on watching shows in their broadcast format.

    • MogRules

      And sadly the longer people support network television the worse it will get.

  • imchillyb

    The entire industry is run by moronic monkeys, flinging their poo and hissing at their viewers. Until the monkeys are replaced by humans utilizing logic and reason, the monkey’s market will continue to shrink. Eventually, the market will fail completely. The poo-flinging monkeys will only have themselves to blame. I cut the cord years ago and wouldn’t watch another minute of network television, were it not for Netflix and no ads.

    Monkey see, monkey-poo.

  • ishaih

    There’s no Hulu $4 plan, it’s $4 more than the plan where you pay to watch ads with some content

  • Christian Volet

    How are people just not realizing this?

  • Jared Anwyl

    Tommy if you posted this on the cordcutters forum on Reddit, whats the content (besides the 12mins used for commercials) have to do with cord-cutting?

  • Bill

    And yet, this very article is choked by ads, several screens worth on my phone, including one popup that appeared as I was reading.