If television networks want to drive more traffic to their websites, they should post more full-length episodes of their programming online, and do so sooner, rather than focusing on superfluous marketing gimmicks. In the DVR and TiVo age, when many viewers simply fast-forward through commercials, providing full-length programs on networks’ websites with limited commercial interruptions has a better chance of keeping viewers focused on the advertising. As someone who regularly finds himself catching up with certain programs on the network’s websites, I have noticed that because the commercial breaks are rather short (often between 15 and 45 seconds), I am exposed to more advertising. Also holding my attention on the commercials is the fact that I cannot channel surf during the breaks. Simply put, by delivering shows in an environment that eliminates most distractions from an advertiser’s message, networks can increase exposure to both their programs and their revenue sources.
Timely posting of shows to networks’ websites also helps, as I often need to catch up with a previous episode before a new one airs.