Pete Sirianni head shot

Pete Sirianni 

In the last year, how many commercials have you watched?

If you’re like many in this pandemic era, the answer is probably not a lot.

Think about it. People were already cutting their cable subscriptions — and commercials — by moving to streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, Hulu or the apparently very popular Discovery+.

This time next week when you see a headline saying the Academy Awards posted a historically low rating, just know more people are interested in the Property Brothers taking out a non-load-bearing wall than they are in seeing how “The Sound of Metal” performs in the top categories.

The only thing worse during a four-hour streaming binge of the hot, new show is being interrupted with an ad for some wireless service, upcoming show or credit card company.

How many times does Hulu have to pitch me on a climate documentary while I’m rushing through the ninth season of “ER”? 

You might not have noticed it, but commercials are having a bit of a comeback. They can thank sports for that. 

While it might make financial sense to “cut the cord” for cable, live sports are one of the few TV products that can’t be consumed on-demand, and that’s why ESPN is shelling out a reported $400 million a year to broadcast ... hockey. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the hijinx of Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee in the Capital One spots during March Madness.

They’re funny, and I laugh.

Ditto for Progressive’s Dr. Rick, the “parent-life coach.” You know, the guy who lets older adults know there’s a way to turn your phone’s ringer off or teaches them how to open a PDF file.

One of my favorites out right now is Geico’s “Scoop, there it is!” spot with Tag Team making ice cream sundaes. 

It’s funny, catchy and a reminder that sprinkles on ice cream make everything better. This should be the standard to which we hold commercials. 

And that’s key, considering I probably won’t watch one until the NBA playoffs start later this spring. If anyone sees a good one in the meantime, let me know.

I’m especially interested in anything funny, and bonus points if they involve a 1990s rap group somehow. 

(Pete Sirianni is the managing editor of the New Castle News. Email him at or tweet him at @petersirianni.)

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Digital editor

Pete Sirianni is the News' assistant editor and digital editor. He is a proud Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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