BET The Epitome of a Commercial Network… Literally

BET The Epitome of a Commercial Network… Literally

How many times do we need Shaquille O’Neil telling us about his ass powder?

Grab your popcorn, sink into your couch, BET is about to air a good ol movie. Ten minutes into the movie is a commercial break, no biggie right? Until you’ve realized 9 minutes has passed – you’re still looking at commercials. BET (Black Entertainment Television) has mastered the art of over selling their programming.

Be it a Tyler Perry movie rerun or the BET Awards. There will be lots and lots of commercials.

I have always believed BET to be the commercial network, in the literal sense. That’s the main reason I don’t frequent the network. Until this last week I’d never actually watched and timed the commercial breaks during a BET broadcast. So my 16 year old and I did that exact thing during BET’s presentation of the Fighting Temptations staring Beyoncé and Cuba Gooding Jr. You won’t believe the results.

On average the commercial breaks ran seven to nine minutes per break. According to the studio The Fighting Temptations movie is 2 hours and 3 minutes long. The total broadcast run time on BET was over 3 hours. That’s more than an average of 50 minutes of commercials!


For comparison I watched TNT’s presentation of Unknown staring Liam Neeson later the same day. The movie is 1 hour and 53 minutes long. The commercial breaks were on average two minutes long. What a stark difference. And yes I took into consideration that TNT is famous for their limited commercial breaks, however this movie was not part of a limited interruptions run.

Over the week I clocked commercial breaks on several networks including ABC, Food Network, Game Show Network, and WeTV (another African American marketed network). All presented 2 to 3 minutes of commercial breaks.

Why does BET over saturate their predominantly black audience with commercial after commercial after commercial? During one of the Fighting Temptations commercial breaks, I was able to open a can of biscuits put them in the over and wash a sink of breakfast dishes.

If there is something I want to see on BET, it must go into my DVR. Watching in real time is unbearable. Hell, I damn near forget what show or movie I’m watching with all those commercials.

Seven to nine minutes of commercials is absurd. What black statistician reported that African Americans want that many commercials? To add insult to injury, the average commercial runs 30 seconds. It’s not just a long commercial break, its chopped full of different ads! And the probability of seeing the same commercial more than once is high. Matter of fact – you can bet on it. How many times do we need to see Shaquille O’Neil talking about his golden ass lotion?

Is the purpose of the ads to force feed products to the viewers or is BET just a greedy television network? The more commercials the more revenue generated. I feel it’s the network, these same movies run with shorter commercial breaks on other networks.