Would you advertise another TV network?

Shawn writes:

Question MarkMy friend and I got into an argument the other day about whether or not a ‘Network Television Station’ would play a advertisement for another network station. An example would be if FOX played an ad on CBS advertising one of their shows. If you could give me any information as to if this has been done before in the past that would be awesome. I do not think that a network would ever play a commercial for another station since it would be driving business away but he thinks otherwise.

Any comments?

Filed under: Commercials


  • Not sure about US networks, but it happens in the UK quite frequently. Certainly, Sky (the satellite broadcaster) advertises on terrestrial networks, as does Virgin Mobile (cable).

    The terrestrial channels also advertise on each other – I’ve seen Five advertise on Channel 4 and ITV.

  • Brandon

    It happens in the US too–more frequently on cable stations than broadcast. And I’m not just talking about crossover promotions on channels owned by the same parent (ie TNT ads running on TBS, or Bravo promos running on NBC); last summer there were Cartoon Network ads on Nick and Fox, for example.

    A target demo is a target demo. And ad bucks are ad bucks.

  • Shawn

    Yes, I understand the fact that Non-Network shows advertise on other Network shows. (mainly because FOX owns FX and other stations i believe.) The argument that I am making is that a ‘main station’ such as fox, nbc, abc, cbs (the stations you would get without cable/satellite, the ‘main network stations’) would ever be allowed to or have the option to advertise on other ‘main stations’. Hopefully this made some things clearer on what my argument is.

  • Last night’s episode (in Australia) of The Simpsons had something interesting.

    They finished with a long spiel about how great NBC was, and how viewer should change channel to see what was on NBC.

    Later during the end credits, Homer can be heard making a retraction statement at gunpoint about how great Fox is.

    Last night’s episode – no fooling! What a coincidence 😀

  • Daniel G

    That episode was “Screaming Yellow Honkers”:

    Homer: Oh Marge, you saved me!

    Bart: Wow, you are so much cooler than Milhouse’s mom!

    Wiggum: Yeah, way to channel that rage, Simpson.

    Lisa: How’d you know your plan would work, Mom?

    Marge: Glad you asked, honey. Well, I was watching “Dateline,” and Stone Phillips said SUVs always roll over when you turn sharply. And the gas tanks explode at the drop of a hat.

    Zookeeper: And she also knew that if a rhino sees a flame, he’ll instinctively try to put it out.

    Marge: Stone Phillips again.

    Homer: Is there anything that guy doesn’t know?

    Zookeeper: Boy, that Stone Phillips sounds like quite a bloke. What television network is he on?

    Bart: Why, NBC, of course.

    Lisa: NBC has lots of great shows, and their news and sports coverage can’t be beat.

    Wiggum: Do you think there’s anything great on NBC right now?

    Homer: Oh, I’m sure of it.

    Marge: But there’s only one way to find out.

    [cut to the closing credits]

    Homer: [voice-over] I’d like to read the following statement, but I do so under … [sound of gun cocking] … my own free will. It has come to my attention that NBC sucks. I apologize for misleading you and urge you to watch as many Fox shows as possible. So in summary, NBC — bad. Fox — good. [sotto voce] CBS great.

    [sound of gunshot, followed by a thud. The Gracie Studios logo appears, accompanied by three gunshots]

    Maybe it’s a comment on Fox’s news? Apart from Fox News Channel, I (as an Aussie) can’t think of what Fox’s non-pay-TV news output is. That’s not *strictly* advertising another network though…