Powered by i.TV
October 4, 2015

Things I Hate About TV: Pop-up ads

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 18th 2009 11:29AM
tv_rabbit_earsWhen Lewis Black went off at the Emmys a couple of years ago about TV becoming obnoxious with the amount of information splayed on the screen, he hit the nail right on the head. Sad to say, things have not gotten better since that rant. In fact, they're worse. I don't know what's worse, the annoying pop-up ads on the television screen or the annoying pop-up ads on the computer screen. At least in the case of the latter, it's the equivalent of a commercial and -- somewhat -- understandable.

But when you're watching a television show and have to ignore the bug in the corner, then be subjected to a variety of pop-up promotions and reminders for shows you may or may not be interested in watching it's enough to make you turn off the set. I'd say it's enough to make you switch channels, but where can you go to avoid the intrusion? PBS?

Pop-up ads are getting more attention now because for some inexplicable reason, they're getting bigger. Instead of a small shot in the lower left corner, new pop ups are appearing on the right side, one-third of the way up the side. I noticed it on Bravo's Top Chef last week. One of the cheftestants had his face obscured by a promo for Real Housewives of Orange County.

In addition to pop-ups, on the news, business and sports channels there's a constant flow of zippered information. Sometimes there are two. And on certain channels, there might be a side bar of numbers, be it stock tickers or scores or a rundown of what's coming next. It's information overload. Oh, and by the way, a lot of times those sidebars are sponsored. Dickie's or Home Depot or Pizza Hut or some such company has paid a premium for that spot.

It would be nice if there was an option to quiet the screen, to mute the pop-ups. It would be nice if you could just watch a show and not have to know what else the network has to offer. Is it the price I'm forced to pay for watching commercial TV? I guess it is -- but wasn't that why I'm dealing with commercials in the first place?

Any thoughts, readers? Do you hate the pop-ups as much as I do?

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Two Old

The only way to fight back is to boycott networks that do this sort of thing. As soon as a network such as TNT takes even a small percentage of a ratings hit due to these pop up adds they will be gone. So if you were bothered enough to do an internet search that lead you here like me, plan on taking a couple months off from a channel that does this. Cancel any scheduled recordings on that channel, even edit the channel out of your line-up if you can. If there is a must see show only on that network, try to watch it on hulu, or some other online source such as netflix or rent the DVD's of that series. You can get up to 8 dvds a month with 3 episodes of your show on each dvd (or even blu-ray) with the 7.99 1 DVD out at a time plan through netflix. That's 24 episodes a month of a given show comercial free! After the couple of months are up feel free to check back with the network in question to see if they've learned their lesson from their time out... if not send them back to their room.

February 15 2013 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Two Old's comment
Two Old

P.S. you can also torrent/P2P download most shows, especially if they're OTA, this would bypass comercials and pop ups together. But this also hurts the makers of the show which I would prefer not to do, they don't deserve to be collaterally damaged b/c of the networks piss poor behavior. Yea stick w/ hulu and netflix imho

February 15 2013 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, a reasonable guesstimate would be 88% of all Americans loathe broadcast pop-up ad's that are now starting to infiltrate almost all the channels you are watching on any redistribute of TV service i.e. DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, etc. I literally want to shoot my HDTV with my 44 mag. if it weren't that fact I would loose 4K that I plunked down for it.

Aside from knowing all that hatred out there for pop-up ad's while your trying to watch a regular show, two questions remain. 1. is there any after market device out there that will block that different frequency signal so as not to be annoyed by such stupidity from advertisers? 2. And if not, why does not someone form a signature site, and collect a million or so names and send to these brain dead morons that think pop-up ad's are a smart thing. I will be the first to sign it!!

December 13 2012 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know I remember a time in the 1980s and 1990s days when you used to watch TV shows and movies without those dumb popup ads appearing on TV. Popup ads didn't exist in the 1980s and 1990s, but there were those commerical breaks that happened in the middle of the TV show or movie, also there was no shrinking ending credits in half or small, but sometimes the annoucer would talk during the credits. It was a great experience watching those flat screen TV shows and movies I would love to go back in time in the 1980s, 1990s and watch TV shows in the world without annoying popup ads.

But then the Internet introduced those dumb popup ads in the late 1990s and then in 2002. The TV channel station people like Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, AMC, TVLand, Hallmark channel decided to sneak in popup ads into TV shows and movies and they often get in the way of watching TV shows and movies, not only that end credits got shrunk in half or in a small box or not shown at all and there's still the usual commerical breaks.

It's the worst popup tread ever in TV shows and movies and it's so annoying that I decided to watch those TV shows and movies on VHS and DVD and see them at movie theaters and there's no popup ads or shrinking credits. I also watch those shows on the Internet in online videos of course theres a few popup ads from time to time but at least I can close them. I hope one day we can live in a world without popup ads.

December 06 2012 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, what can we do about this problem. We all agree the pop-ups are obnoxious and distracting. We can complain 'til the cows come home, but that won't fix it. Is it the cable company or the networks that provide the little annoyances??? Are they present on satellite/DirecTV services?

January 02 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If I see that obnoxious Gordon Liddy again I'm going to puke right into my remote holder. Who the hell has got enough money in this economy to buy enough gold to make it profitable. That man makes me sick to my stomach!!!!!!!

December 11 2009 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
I hate them

They piss me off so much I immediately hate the product or service and vow never to buy it. And then I hate the company and everything else it makes. Regardless of whether I liked the product or company before.

Who are their marketing "experts"? Comatose idiots? People have hated pop-ups from their inception. Why do you continue doing this? I will never respond well to In-My-Face. Never. And I pass on my feelings about you and your product to my household, my friends, my relatives ...

November 30 2009 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Allison, seriously, everyone HATES these pop-ups, it'd have been alot better post for you to tell us who at the networks to contact to protest this practice. They're the ones permitting this intrusion and we need a coordinated effort to protest it so it'll stop instead of, as it now is, getting worse.

November 19 2009 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SciFi's were terrible last year and early this year. A huge purple bar across 1/3rd of the screen.

Happily, SyFy's popups are a lot less obnoxious now. Semi-transparent grey bar, slightly shorter.

November 18 2009 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had to stop watching HGTV last year in October when I was beset by their promos for an upcoming Halloween-themed craft show: not only did it start with bats flying across the left side of the screen, the banner itself took up fully ONE THIRD of the screen.
This was while I was watching a craft show and the banner prevented me from seeing the demonstration of technique I had tuned in for in the first place.

They also ran another VERY BIG and intrusive promo for a book by one of their on-air personalities, Carol Duvall.. however, when you went to the website being advertised, the books were sold out.

So we're getting five- and six-minute-long commercial breaks plus pop up banners and bugs during the program. Are they really trying to drive us away from television altogether?

November 18 2009 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What time does shovin' buddies start?

November 18 2009 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners