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The Slice

Facing TV’s equivalent of the change-up

You know how, in baseball, pitchers try to keep batters off balance by varying the speed of their offerings? Sure.

Well, I'm convinced that the people who fit commercials into TV shows do something similar.

Sometimes the commercial interruption lasts seemingly just a few seconds. Other times, it goes on for minutes and minutes.

The aim of this tactic is pretty obvious. Broadcasters know we record shows and watch them later. Then viewers fast-forward through the commercials.

But when you aren't sure how long the commercial break will last, you tend to be tentative about your fast-forwarding. You might resume normal speed too soon and end up accidentally watching a little of some of the commercials.

Or you might zoom past the point where the show resumes and then back up too far.

In any event, successful commercials-avoidance requires a steady hand on the remote.


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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