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The lucrative secret behind infomercials

The ads for PedEgg and ShamWow may be shlocky, but they're a very serious business By Jon Nathanson, Priceonomics

NOTHING GOOD IS on TV between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., and for good reason. Nobody's trying. It's the time period known euphemistically in the media business as the "Post Late Fringe," and less euphemistically as the "Graveyard Slot." It's when networks and local TV affiliates sign off. They give up. They stop pretending that anyone important is watching and sell off their airtime — not just 30-second commercial spots, but entire 30-minute programming blocks — to sponsors. Those sponsors fill the left-for-dead airwaves with direct-response television (DRTV), better known as infomercials.TheWeek.com

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