While watching a two-hour special of Mythbusters, i noticed that the actual running time of the show, once it had the adverts taken out, was 1 hour 26 minutes meaning over a quarter of the show was advertisements.
I don't know who runs the television rules in America but here we have Ofcom and they have been getting bashed for the amount of advertisement breaks in the X-Factor programme.
For commercial television, which has seen a heavy reduction in advertising income recently, a blockbuster show like X-Factor offers mouthwatering opportunities. Aside from the traditional advertising spots, there is the chance to sell sponsorship bumpers which top and tail the commercial breaks.
Ofcom have denied that it has increased the amount of advertising time available for ITV from the standard 12 minutes per hour which is true, sort of.
The situation becomes complicated because the bumpers at the start and end of the break are counted as programming minuteage rather than as part of the ad break. Similarly, trailers for other ITV programmes are outside of the 12 minutes also.
So no, strictly there are not more advertisement breaks in X Factor, it still has the standard 12 minutes, but the advertisement breaks are longer because the Talk Talk adverts bookending the adverts and the ITV trailers mixed in with the adverts for toilet paper and margarine don't count so they can have 6 breaks 2 minutes long with all the trailers and bumpers slotted in to bloat the break time.
In the eyes of the Ofcom regulations, ITV and X-Factor are within the rules but to the viewing public, for whom the adverts start when Dermot O'Leary announces they will be right back and lasts until he welcomes us back, the adverts are actually more in number and last longer with the actual programme shaved a few minutes shorter.