Matt at The Wrestling Journal writes about the annoyance of commercials during long TV matches:
But, while I agree that commercials during matches are annoying, there’s another side to be considered here. If WWE is to avoid having to go to break mid-match, that’d mean having to cut the length of TV matches and have no TV matches go longer than the space between two commercials.
Matt breaks it down under two unfair choices: either make the matches short enough to stick between two breaks (which would be under the network’s decisions, I would think), or just deal with it.
Other sports don’t have this problem. No sport with any popularity can play an entire game between commercials, and fans understand that. Other sports also have believable lull periods: time-outs, half-times, infield-outfield changes, etc., where it makes sense to place a commercial. But wrestling matches can last anywhere from 18 seconds to over an hour. To make matters worse, they sell PPVs with one major selling point: commercial-free wrestling matches from bell to bell. That’s a dissincentive to show full, lengthy matches on free TV.
I don’t have an answer or even a good suggestion. I just wanted to highlight an interesting problem. Anyone else have thoughts?