Definitions

Commercial break

Commercial break

Commercial break is a period of time when a television station interrupts a programme to broadcast television commercials.

In the United States, most half-hour television shows accommodate 8 minutes of commercial break, while full-hour shows usually accommodate 16-18 minutes of commercial break. This means that a one-hour episode actually only runs for about 42-44 minutes without commercial breaks.

European Union rules limit the time taken by commercial breaks to 12 minutes per hour (20%), with a minimum segment length of 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the program content.

Commercial breaks are also taken during breaks in the action in sporting events. In some cases, the sporting event will pause to accommodate a commercial break. This is known as a television timeout.

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