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New Member

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1 Message

Sat, Jun 20, 2020 7:30 AM

AT&T App commercial break in progress

Why in the heck do commercials not just play while watching television. Seriously eating a screen that says commercial break in progress with annoying music (Edited per community guidelines) royally or the same dumb commercial plays every single time ... bar rescue ... I have it embedded and burned in my Brain. I’m ready for a new provider. 

Responses

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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9.4K Messages

7 months ago

The standard setup for commercials is that some "slots" are reserved for (and used by) the content provider (network) to sell and show ads - that's how they make most of their money, while some slots are reserved for the carrier (local station for broadcast networks, the cable, satellite, or streaming service for "cable channels" - I'm not sure what the handling is when a broadcast station is then carried by cable, etc.) which is how they make money.  The various carriers are not always able to sell ads for all of their designated slots - so no commercial to play.  (There often actually is a commercial in the slot - the one the local station is playing, or on "cable" channels, one the network included for carriers that don't want to deal with "dead air" and for which I believe the cost to the advertiser is much lower than usual, since they mostly aren't played.)  Since the carrier isn't getting paid for those slots (it wouldn't be their commercial), most won't play them, but since they don't have one of their own in that case, they need something else to play.  In many cases, either a "house ad" (one advertising the carrier itself and its products) or a PSA is inserted, but if they aren't set up for that or don't have one to play, they will put up a "we'll be right back" card.  You'll see these on other carriers too, and sometimes on networks (especially on sports networks showing local games, where they might have a harder time selling ads). 

 

AT&T doesn't seem to handle their ad slots great for AT&T TV (and Now) - a bit surprising since I would think it would be the same handling as they use for DirecTV and U-Verse, which seem to avoid the card (filling the slots with house ads and PSAs) - but they probably have fewer unsold slots for those (older, more subscribed) services, so I might just never have noticed.  (Or it may the fact that I am in a large media market, so it's easier for them to sell local ads than in a smaller media market, because I don't see the "we'll be back" card that often even on AT&T TV.)

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New Member

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10 Messages

a month ago

The Jrandomuser answer has nothing whatsoever to do with the problem. You can bump the channel up one and back down and the commercial programing will resume. This is a streaming problem. This issue, and a sound sync issue have both been repeatedly brought up both in these forums and with their service people on the phone, hundreds of times. They don’t care. If they did, you would be able to reach the people who can fix this, through email or otherwise. Chat and the customer service on the phone will give you less than nothing that will result in a cure. I will be stopping this lousy service as soon as my year is up. As bad as Cox was, it was way better than this.

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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9.4K Messages

a month ago

The commercial "resumes" because whatever mechanism they use to replace the in place commercial isn't very good.  (If they were good at it, they'd supply a house ad or PSA.)  So when you change channels, it apparently goes back to the raw stream and shows the "fill-in" commercial.  I assure you that at a business level, they don't want that to happen - they don't want to be showing commercials that they aren't being paid for, they just aren't that competent technically, so what happens happens.

There are lots of other technical issues - sound sync (which I've never encountered, but many others have), HDR, excessive "buffering" (which better "read ahead buffering" in the app could certainly help with), etc.  plus all kinds of desired improvements that have been outstanding forever (better DVR options/settings/interface, live stream controls, better channel navigation, profiles, etc., etc.), some of which they even indicated several years ago were coming, plus adding missing major platforms.  I don't know that they don't care, but they certainly either aren't choosing to expend the resources needed to address these things or aren't competent to do so.  As you say, they don't provide an explicit mechanism to provide input to Marketing or Development, and the Support organization clearly doesn't, so it's unclear to what extent they are aware of the customer base's concerns about these.

Could many/all of these be addressed?  I'd think so.  Will they ever?  Unknown, but it would certainly be nice.  The level of service they provide now is largely adequate for my personal needs, but that is aided by the fact that I am paying discounted (grandfathered) rates, not the current prices - and due to that am more understanding.  For new customers coming in and expected to pay full price - probably not so much...

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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