The overall TV experience in USA and Europe is quite different. Especially in those countries in Europe where you have national TV and more strict rules for showing commercials on TV. In USA you have PBS as I understand, but when I have been visiting, only the news from ITN was interesting.
In Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland you have national TV, which gets money sometimes in a year. Same with United Kingdom and Germany. These national TV channels got no commercial interruptions at all. I have watched David Letterman Show on NRK with no commercial interruptions. I have also seen it on MAX and VOX channels with only 3 commercial interruptions. In a show like David Letterman Show you can easy see how many commercial interruptions Americans get as you have few more seconds with nothing to make it easier for TV channels to make breaks.
Same with shows like Dr. Phil or Ellen. TV3 and TV6 in Norway broadcasts from London, so they have to obey media rules in United Kingdom.
The national TV channels broadcasts lot’s of learning programs, but also movies, series, documentaries, sports and news. NRK in Norway for example, showed Heroes and Sopranos without any commercial interruptions at all.
Also there is a big difference in News programs here and in the states. While here it is forbidden to interrupt News programs with commercials, in USA it is allowed to do so many times. On ABC for example, I have seen a news program with a story, commercial, a news topic and yet another commercial. In Norway at least a private TV company would get lots of penalties to do so. Also private TV channels here in Norway have rules on how many commercial breaks serials can have.
Serials like The Big Bang Theory on TV Norge got Norwegian commercial rules, which says that a TV channel can interrupt a 30min show one time with a commercial break which can only last for 60 seconds. It must be either a commercial break or a break with channel promotions. But when MAX (they broadcast from London), they can do a full 5 minute commercial break if they want to. Just because they broadcast from United Kingdom.
All of the European countries have different commercial rules, but there is no rules on where the TV channels can broadcast from.
In our next articles, we will bring you more about the real differences between what channels do broadcast or not in USA and Europe.