I am an old fart who remembers when there was NO screen clutter whatsoever on tv.
Then (I think it was some cable channel or Fox that first did it), came the onset of channel logos. Feeling that this was the start of a very slippery slope, I complained to the local networks, and to some of the cable channels too. As far as I know, HBO may be the only channel that still does not use any bugs, at least on their primary channel. At the time when channel logos first started to appear, the answer I got when I complained was that these logos were important for two reasons: to identify the program source so that the footage could not be used elsewhere, and as an aid (?!) to the viewer so that they would know what channel they were watching. I was told that this had nothing to do with advertising anything. Right. That was the beginning of the end of being able to watch TV in any kind of truly immersive way without the ever-increasing intrusion of ads in various forms during the actual program content itself. This practice, in addition to the annoyance factor, largely devalues and disrespects the program content itself. While some may argue that much of tv has little value anyway, some of it is excellent. I would have hoped that the content providers, the producers, writers, actors, production houses etc. would join together to require the airing of their hard work be done in a respectful way - but either they don't care (unlikely) or have no clout. I agree with those who have encouraged the writing of letters, emails, phone calls to the various offenders, and it would be great to get folks like the media critics to jump all over this issue. I am astounded by what I see now (tho I shouldn't be I guess), and I can't imagine how far this trend will go, but I won't be watching much if this keeps up, and maybe that's a good thing. There are probably people on staff now just to create and populate the screen with all that crap. But maybe the silver lining will be to wean us (I'll speak for myself here) the addiction to tv altogether. This from a very early HD adopter and self-professed tv addict (of course I only watch 'good' shows, right?).