The people who sponsor TV programs do so because they know who is watching those programs. And they figure they have the products that those people want to buy. People from all walks of life might watch the Super Bowl or a weekly comedy show. But only a certain kind of person is going to be a steady viewer of the evening news broadcast on network or cable TV.
Who looks at TV news? Who wants to be informed about US politics, foreign affairs, advances in science, terrible social situations here and abroad, wars or floods, important legal cases and, occasionally, at the end of the show, some minor, whimsical event? Who are those people watching the evening news?
They’re people who suffer from head colds, allergies, dry eyes, badly fitting false teeth, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (they call it COPD for short), asthma, gas and bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, constipation, hard stool, arthritis, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction (they call it ED, for short) low testosterone (low T, for short) and insomnia. And they’re really desperate. The cures advertised for those ailments have scary side effects, such as life-threatening allergic reactions, or cancer, or death due to the collapse of one or more body organs. At least one has suicide as a nasty side effect, and it’s arguable that merely listening to an hour’s worth of CNN pharmaceutical ads in the evening can frighten you to death.
Yes, watching the news is hard. Watching the advertisements is harder.