ATTITUDE & PERCEPTION OF VIEWERS TOWARDS COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION
1.1 Background of the study
A commercial oriented broadcast media simply cannot survive without commercials, which makes them a vital component of the survival of any broadcast media house, but especially of commercial oriented broadcast media. A commercial for a commercial-oriented broadcast media is comparable to blood in a human body; without it, a person cannot survive. Broadcast media uses the revenue from commercials to fund operations such as paying employees, purchasing new equipment, upgrading existing equipment, and other logistics.
When listeners or viewers are enjoying a show and are then abruptly subjected to a commercial programmed by broadcast media, the commercial may be seen as an interruption. Meanwhile, viewers and listeners’ perspectives on commercial interruption have varied (Ali, 2014). Television programs frequently have commercial breaks that are separate from the shows themselves and that occur or are put in at different times during broadcasts. (Ali, 2014).
Because it happens so frequently, commercial breaks in television programmes have become commonplace in Nigeria and world all over. For instance, during the allotted soap opera programmes, more time is spent on advertising than on the actual programme. The television networks and marketers frequently encourage this behaviour, which benefits some viewers but disadvantages others since they regard it as a fantastic opportunity to advertise their goods and services (Nworgu, 2010).
There is no denying that advertisements are supported by sponsors who fork over significant sums of money to insert them between highly engaging programmes in an effort to draw viewers. The episodic movies from Zeeworld also provide evidence for this. This is done to grab the viewer’s attention and deliver the advertising message (Udomisor, 2013).
According to Pechu (2014), while viewers are watching their programmes, it is a common practice that television houses often slot in commercials which break the continuity of these programmes to the irritation of viewers sometimes. The advertisers often want their commercials to be aired at prime time, while these viewers want their favourite programmes to be uninterrupted by commercials. This creates conflicts between the interest of advertisers and viewers (Andersen 2006).
This is to say that most television stations and advertisers see this interruption as a good way of promoting their business as oppose to the way the viewers see it. One will often hear a viewer sigh in anger when his or her favourite programme is interrupted with one commercial or the other, when this happen, the viewers do not concentrate, quickly switches to the station that meets gratification or walk out of the room in a bit and return when they feel the commercial might be over.
However, if that be the case, the main reason for placing the commercial during an on-going programme has not been achieved and upon that the television house is also aggravating the viewers. Hence the need to study the perception of television viewers has of commercial interruption of programmes (Owuamalam, 2008).
Nworgu (2010) agrees that avoidance of television commercial by viewers is a known fact and this is being enhanced by the remote control which allows the viewers to easily ‘zap’ from one station to another. Viewers also indulge in ‘grazing’ and ‘surfing’ which involves watching variety of television programmes and scanning through lots of “channels without paying particular attention to any programme.
Since the audiences want to feel what is being broadcast, television becomes the appropriate medium for that feeling to be achieved. People now stick to their television channel watching their favourite programmes at their convenience (Udomisor, (2013,). It is against this background that the study interested in investigating the attitude and perception of Osun State Polytechnic students towards commercial interruption.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Television has achieved a very high degree of penetration in the population and many people watch television programmes for several hours each day. However, these programmes are intermittently interrupted to make way for the insertion of commercial messages. There are less empirical studies on whether commercials are interrupting programme or not and to what extent have these commercials turn to be irritating to viewers.
The research will look into the effect that commercial interruption during viewing on viewers. And also this research will examine whether commercial break really interrupt the programme viewers are watching. It is against this background that the study interested in investigating the attitude and perception of Osun State Polytechnic students towards commercial interruption.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the attitude and perception of Osun State Polytechnic students towards commercial interruption. Therefore, the specific objectives of the research study include the followings:
- To examine the perception of Osun State polytechnic students towards commercial interruptions.
- To find out how Osun State Polytechnic students react when their favourite programmes are being interrupted by commercials.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guide this study
- What is the perception of Osun State Polytechnic students towards commercial interruption in television programmes?
- How do Osun State Polytechnic students react when their favourite programmes are being interrupted by commercials?
1.5 Significance of Study
Since the study is to investigate the attitude and perception of Osun State Polytechnic, students towards commercial interruption. However, the findings of this study will benefit the following categories:
Media: The research will provide a broad understanding to media practitioners on the general operations of mass media in the country, especially with increasing of commercials during their various programmes and news.
Researcher/Students: This study will serve as an empirical study for researchers and students who may want to explore a similar study.
Government: It will equally guide government and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to moderate the number of commercial that need to be use during news casting and programmes.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which investigates the attitude and perception of Osun State Polytechnic students towards commercial interruption shall be narrowed through the topic itself to Osun State Polytechnic Iree. Hence, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Osun State Polytechnic main campus, Iree particularly the main campus excluding Koko Campus.
The choice of Osun State Polytechnic Campus, Iree is due to its proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all tertiary institutions in Osun State among other logistics. Also, the demographic variables of the respondents will be carefully studied before the administration of research instrument (questionnaire) such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Attitude: In this study, attitude refers to reactions, feelings, thinking and behaviours of Osun State Polytechnic students when they see commercials or advertisements interrupting any television programme they are watching. Are they happy, irritated or are they indifferent to such commercials.
Television Viewers: In this research, television viewers are students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree who watch television programmes.
Commercial: Commercial refers to advertising, paid and paid announcement over television and radio to sell a product, items or services.
Commercial Interruption: The moment when television programme is interrupted by commercials. Commercial interruption is introduced within programmes to promote product, services and ideas to television viewers.
Programmes: In this research, programmes are schedule events/activities broadcast on television stations to viewers such as NTA network news, Today’s Politics etc.