Many networks schedule special programming during the Super Bowl in order to attract channel surfers. However, commercial breaks during the Super Bowl usually have an average length of two minutes and ten seconds, so if the viewer decides to change the channel, he might miss part of the game before turning back to the channel airing the Super Bowl.
Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" is one example of popular Super Bowl counterprogramming. "Puppy Bowl," a program showing cute puppies playing with each other in an environment designed like a miniature football field, has aired since 2005. This sparked other networks to air similar programming during the Super Bowl; examples include "Kitten Bowl" on the Hallmark Channel and "Fish Bowl" on Nat Geo Wild.
Other channels choose to air marathons of their trademark series during the Super Bowl. During the 2015 Super Bowl, AMC aired a marathon of "The Walking Dead" and HGTV aired a marathon of "Property Brothers." Some channels air movie marathons during the Super Bowl. During the 2015 Super Bowl, TCM aired a marathon of Oscar-winning films from the 1920s while ABC Family aired the "Back to the Future" movies.
The Super Bowl has an average of 20 commercial breaks, in addition to two breaks during halftime. During the 2015 Super Bowl, about 48 minutes of commercials were aired. Programming meant to be fun and without a real plot, such as "Puppy Bowl," lends itself to tuning in and out during breaks, while marathons of scripted shows and films are meant to distract viewers from the Super Bowl game itself.