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Stop Cluttering The Screen!

I cannot remember when the trend started, but just about every television channel on the air these days has to have their logo on the screen during every program. I believe these are generally referred to has "bugs" and although a small semi-transparent bug in the lower-right corner of the screen does not bother me all that much, this new stuff they are starting to do is really annoying.

There may be legitimate reasons for the bugs with the station’s or network’s bug on the screen during a program to assist them in combating piracy. I can also understand this kind of stuff on news channels like Fox News, CNN or MSNBC since they like to put crawlers at the bottom of the screen with current news items or stock quotes or whatever, and quite frankly, I don’t care if the corner of Shepard Smith’s desk is obscured by a rotating graphic telling what station I am watching and what time it is.

What I am beginning to notice now is taking place on networks that are not focused on news, but are supposed to be entertainment-oriented. What I am seeing are various graphics popping up on the screen advertising other programs that are carried on that particular network. To make matters worse, many of these graphics are animated and appear at the bottom of the screen while taking up a significant portion of it, and blocking out part of the program I are trying to watch.

So far, the animated graphics I have seen run for only a few seconds — but even that is an annoying distraction.

The latest invasion of television screen space that I have seen is a permanent bug that is advertising another program that is scheduled to air on that network.

For example, last evening I was watching a program called The First 48 on the A&E channel. In case you are not familiar with it, it’s a show about homicide detectives and how they solve murder cases, and it is one of my favorite programs.

Last night’s broadcast of The First 48, featured and annoying semi-transparent bug on the upper-left corner of the screen that advertised the program that was going to air next. In the case, it was some new program called The Cleaner or something like that.

What made this bug so annoying was that it remained there throughout the entire program. Not only that, but the commercial breaks also featured advertisements for this new program! Even though I was watching The First 48 on my DVR about an hour after it aired and was using my "commercial skip" button to zap through commercial breaks quickly, I could still see that the new program was being advertising during the breaks, since the commercial skip button advances the program about 30 seconds at a time and allows you to catch a glimpse of the commercials that are airing between button presses.

I suspect that DVR’s and Tivo’s are part of the reason the networks are starting to make use of these permanent bugs that promote their other programming. They know many people are zapping commercials and perhaps this is their way of making sure we are aware of their new programs, but leaving a promotional bug like that on the screen throughout the entire program is a bit overdone if you ask me. Couldn’t they just show it on the screen periodically for 30 seconds or so a few times during the program?

Not only would doing that make these bugs less annoying, I think it also may yield a better result for the network. Having it pop up here and there will catch the attention of viewer, where as leaving it on the screen 100% of the time is simply going to condition viewers to its presence and they will soon be oblivious to it.

That’s the way it has become with those network logo bugs that are usually displayed in the lower-right corner of the screen. I hardly even notice that they are there any longer.

I can tolerate the network logo bugs at this point, but I sure do wish the networks would put an end to the obnoxious animated graphics that interrupt my viewing and the new permanent bugs being used to advertising other programming.

I do not watch all that much TV. Perhaps just the news and an hour or two in the evening, and sometimes not at all, so I imagine there is a lot more of this stuff going on that I am seeing. Give us a break TV networks and just let us watch our favorite shows in peace, will you?

This guy knows what I’m talking about:


Comment from Crystal
Posted: September 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I hate the advertising during shows also with a passion. TV is so annoying now that I hate watching it now. The advertisements take up half the screen and many stations have stuff across the entire bottom of the screen for every program they show. I’ve even seen some advertisements cover the entire screen for a few seconds. This is very distracting and a pain with you have a little animated man moving around where someone’s face is in the program you’re trying to watch. I’ve been writing to each of the networks individually to complain but I would love to find some higher centralized place to e-mail my complaints to. TV now is all about advertising and promoting other TV programs with pieces of shows in between. Now they are cutting shows to fit in more commercials. I now purchase my TV shows and movies so I don’t have to watch them on commercial stations. I’m ready to cancel my cable TV subscription because I’m tired of paying to watch advertising with shows in the background. The cable and satellite companies better pay attention to this. If others are as frustrated as I am, they will be seeing a lot of subscription cancellations or package reductions to basic.

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