I am completely ticked off by Rainbow Media’s recent decision to start adding commercial breaks in the middle of the films being shown on IFC (the Independent Film Channel). IFC is a premium channel on Comcast, so I am already paying extra for the privilege of watching films on IFC … but I am NOT paying for ads in the middle of my movies.

According to an article about the change on AdvertisingAge:

Now IFC is taking its turn, adjusting programming in a bid for more viewers and, perhaps more importantly, taking regular commercials for the first time. Instead of art-house films backed by sponsorship messages, IFC is increasingly running accessible indie movies, original series, reruns of cult comedies — and traditional commercials.

But the channel doesn’t want to change too much, risking the young, affluent, well-educated and often hipster crowd that already watches it — even as they watch less TV overall and stream more stuff online. “We’re not looking to be all things to all people,” said Evan Shapiro, president of IFC. “We didn’t want to become a general-entertainment brand. There’s still a very important segment of the population watching less TV. So we’re opening up our programming so we can do things like ‘Onion News Network,’ which is the most expensive thing we’ve ever done by far.”

via More Commercials and Comedies for IFC, Less Art House Flicks – Advertising Age – MediaWorks.

I can see that the films are still unedited/uncut, but the placement of the commercial breaks is really obnoxious. I don’t mind commercials in-between programs which is the way it was done on commercial channels in Europe when I lived there … never have, never will. If I wanted to watch the next program after one ended, I watched the advertisements.

Commercials in the middle of original programming, where suitable breaks for commercials would be part of the development of the show would be entirely understandable. But seriously, commercials in the middle of movies completely interrupts the flow of the film itself. In other words, a channel that prided itself on catering to the film buff with promises of uncut, unedited, uninterrupted is now driving us away.

Essentially, what IFC has done is drive me to do is cut-back on my premium channel line-up and start to use Netflix‘s streaming service even more … IFC is losing my eyeballs instead of gaining more eyeballs, and they won’t get me back until they go back to showing UNINTERRUPTED movies.

I just hope that the Sundance Channel (another property of Rainbow Media) doesn’t go the same route during its movies …