I’d like to take a moment to vent my irritation over the increasingly common practice of putting ads over the bottom of the TV show you’re watching. It was annoying enough when everyone had to start putting their fucking network logo in the bottom corner, but these fucking animated ads are killing what small desire I have left to watch TV. You’re sitting there watching a show when suddenly there’s movement across the bottom of the screen or one corner that drags your eye away from what’s happening in the actual show to see that it’s the network telling you that they’ve got a marathon of Law & Order episodes coming up next even though “next” is a good 25 minutes away. This is particularly annoying when what you’re watching has subtitles that end up being covered up because of the fucking ad. To top it all off, just when I thought they couldn’t get any worse, some networks have even taken to adding sound effects to the ad so not only are you missing anything that’s taking place behind the ad, but the audio from the show is also being drowned out by the ad.
The worst offender has got to be the TNT Channel. Their tag-line is “we know drama” and it’s true because they create a lot of drama in my house whenever their huge honking ad for The Closer pops up for the fifth fucking time over a show I’m watching causing me to scream out, “OK! I FUCKING KNOW THE CLOSER IS COMING BACK ON APRIL THIRD ALREADY! I DON’T NEED TO BE REMINDED ANY MORE NOT TO WATCH THAT STUPID SHOW!”
Second worst is probably G4 TV which used to be a network devoted to video gamers, but which has steadily managed to weed out almost anything gaming related from its programming line up. I only tune in for one show on that channel, X-Play, so I don’t have to put up with too much of their in-show ad bullshit, but they still manage to get my dander up because they choose to make their ads stretch all the way across the bottom third of the screen using some ridiculously silly ghetto graffiti animation in a pathetically corporate attempt at being street cool.
Third worst is the USA Network as they seem to be in some sort of competition with TNT to see who can come up with the biggest, loudest, and most annoying in-show ad they can manage without causing people’s heads to asplode from the rage they induce and thusly lowering their ratings. I’ve pretty much stopped watching this channel altogether.
The channel I watch most often Spike TV — mainly because of the CSI reruns they have — seems to have the lesser annoying of these in-show ads as they tend to be small strips of mainly text that announce what’s coming up next, but I still have to ask if it’s really necessary to tell me what I’m currently watching. Yes, I know that I’m watching CSI right now. That’s the whole reason I tuned in your channel in the first place.
I understand that TiVo has fucked things up for the networks a bit in terms of people fast forwarding through the commercials and so this is one way to make sure you get your message out, but you’re not doing yourselves any favors by being overly intrusive in the process. I actually avoid watching TNT or USA Network at all unless there’s absolutely nothing else on and my brain isn’t engaged enough to do something else like read a book. The point being that you’re actively driving away viewers and that’s just stupid. I know you’re not going to drop them anytime soon, but tone them the fuck down and minimize the space they take up and make sure they DON’T FUCKING COVER UP ANY SUBTITLES.