Reddit User Crunches Numbers, Adds Up TV Ad Time Following CFB Clock Rule Changes

A ball rests on the field during a college football game.

Getty Image

The new clock rule change in college football has been met with extreme criticism from both fans and coaches. Those watching on their television screens got their first real exposure to the effect it has on the viewing experience in Week 1 of the season.

One Reddit user went a step further, breaking down how the lost time on the field led to more ad time in between breaks. The findings are interesting to say the least.

The NCAA introduced the changes this offseason as a way of shortening the game, which some believed would be beneficial to player safety. In year’s past, the clock stopped momentarily after first downs at the college level. It was a rule that separated the sport from the NFL.

This season, though, a running clock has been introduced marking a change that hasn’t been implemented since 1968. Only inside of two minutes in the half does the clock stop after first downs, giving teams the opportunity to provide a bit of drama on one final drive.

After the handful of Week 0 matchups, many believed the adjustments negatively affected the game. Those criticisms were even louder in Week 1 with every major NCAA team getting on the field.

UCLA head coach Chip Kelly was heard blasting the rule changes, quipping, “Hope you guys are selling a lot of commercials,” during an in-game interview.

It seems that they are.

A Reddit user broke down the game time vs. ad time in Sunday night’s matchup between LSU and Florida State. The goal of shortening game time has been achieved, but it’s resulted in “fluff” for those watching on TV.

The final numbers found that game time was down to just under two and a half hours while commercials came in at over 55 minutes. There were 131 ads played throughout the duration of the broadcast.

That means that more than a quarter of the viewing time was spent watching television ads. It might be even worse for those that attend in person as they’re now forced to sit through long breaks while watching less football.

“Pretty awful,” the fan said. “There’s an entire hour of just nothing happening. It’s why I don’t think I’m going to attend any games in person this year. It’s getting beyond ridiculous.”

Many on the Reddit stream agreed.

What recourse do we, as consumers, have to fight back against the insane amount of ads in college football?
by u/blueridges in CFB

The clock rule changes have clearly annoyed both fans and coaching staffs as everyone is losing offensive opportunities. It’s hard to push player safety and a more entertaining product as reasoning behind the moves when the driving factor appears to be money.