Downton Abbey fans angered over number of ad breaks

Fans of Downton Abbey have complained about the number of commercial breaks during Sunday’s episode.

The Julian Fellowes penned drama returned on Sunday evening for its second series with a 90 minute special. The episode was watched by an average of 9 million viewers with a peak of over 10 million. The episode has already been praised by critics but one aspect of Downton’s return that is under fire is the amount of commercial breaks during the 90 minute episode.

Under Ofcom regulations ITV is permitted to screen an average of 8 minutes of advertisements per hour between 6pm and 11pm (peak-time) with a maximum of 12 minutes per hour. However, trailers for forthcoming shows and sponsorship ‘stings’ do not fall within these regulations.

Fans of Downton Abbey are seemingly unimpressed with the constant cutting to commercial breaks. ITV faced similar criticisms from fans last year during Downton Abbey’s opening episode and defended itself then with the defence of ‘We followed the same pattern as other 90-minute dramas. We are a commercial broadcaster.’