Regulator Ofcom is allowing TV channels to interrupt films and single dramas with up to 12 minutes of advertising every hour, the same as for soaps. This is against the current average of nine minutes, and a House of Lords recommendation that this should be cut to seven minutes.

The move will increase the number of people enjoying the benefit of recording programmes from commercial stations on their digital recorders and fast-forwarding through the ads.

Ofcom has also recently granted permission for UK broadcasters to sell product placement opportunities in their programmes, which have to show a logo for three seconds at the start and end of these programmes, to give viewers sick of advertising a chance to turn off.

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