PBS to Begin Airing (Gasp!) Commercials!

PBS to Begin Airing (Gasp!) Commercials! Sure, it's a little dry. Yes, it's all educational and stuff. But there was always one great thing about PBS: no commercials!

For years, PBS has been using an advertising model specific to their network: air the program, then air sponsor messages at the very end, in between programs. It's certainly nice for the viewers, and it means that PBS doesn't have to worry about appeasing any advertisers, leaving them free to produce the kind of thoughtful, educational content that nobody really wants to watch all that much.

Well, okay, "Antiques Roadshow" is pretty good I guess.

But PBS has been having a problem with their current funding model...that is, viewers were leaving in droves as soon as those sponsor messages came on at the end of the program. And when you think about it, why wouldn't they? The show's over, and we don't need to be told that the program was brought to us in part by viewers like us.

So now PBS is changing its tune, and changing its strategy: the channel will now begin airing advertisements every 15 minutes, interrupting their programs. Most of the messages will still be sponsor ads and network branding, but corporate ads could be part of the mix, too.

"Nature," "NOVA" and "Antiques Roadshow" are a few of the programs to be hit first. You've been warned...one minute you'll be watching people talk about a porcelain clown figurine, then BAM! Commercial time!

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