Trivia

Hard

Time Warping Is A Process Used By TV Stations To?

Engage Viewers For Longer Sessions
Time Shift Local News
Compress Digital Video
Fit In More Commercials
A freshly installed wall mount flatscreen TV.
Pkepneriv/Wikimedia

Answer: Fit In More Commercials

Lately, you may have noticed that it seems like your favorite sitcom has way more commercials than you recall. Maybe you’re getting older and less tolerant of interruptions in your preferred programming or maybe the station you’re watching is engaging in a sneaky practice known as “time warping”.

For more than a decade, many stations across the U.S. have been quietly speeding up their programming (essentially a form of very mild fast-forwarding of the content) in order to reduce the playtime of the given TV show or movie by anywhere from 10-20 percent. What do they do with that extra time, you ask? Why fill it with commercials, of course.

Ironically, the practice came about because of sinking cable subscribership rates and a desire by cable and satellite companies to boost revenue. But the move to speed up shows and pack in more commercials is contributing to more people abandoning cable and using services like Netflix where shows are delivered in their original format sans commercials.

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