A fair amount, though perhaps not as much as you'd guess (or fear) given the obsession with zipping and zapping. And the degree of drop-off depends on which program source you're watching, according to a new analysis of Arbitron numbers by Backer Spielvolgel Bates.
For affiliates of the three big networks, the primetime rating for commercial minutes averaged 7.9% lower than for program minutes. For independents and Fox affiliates the differential was wider, with commercial time getting ratings 12.8% lower than the programs. Cable networks showed an average drop-off of 14.3% from program to commercial time.
For broadcasting's big three, the differential was widest in the 10:30-10:59 block (10.9%) and smallest in the 8:30-8:59 block (5.8%). And their in-program commercial pods fared 7.4% better than commercials at the end of shows.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)