It might be because channels have begun airing reruns of popular old shows on fast-forward, just to cram more commercials into their allotted time slots. Oh, sure, they're not running them at double speed so that Ross and Rachel are zipping around their apartment, having a wacky, high-pitched chipmunk argument about their wedding. You would notice that. No, this is more subtle -- someone compared the original broadcast airing with the syndicated rerun of the same Seinfeld episode and found that the latter has been sped up by about 7 percent.
That may not sound like a lot, and it is, in fact, barely noticeable to the casual viewer, but it effectively shortens a 25-minute sitcom episode to just 22 minutes. On paper, this actually makes sense because commercial breaks have progressively been getting longer -- commercial breaks on cable are between one and two minutes longer than they were just a few years ago. The only way that channels such as TBS can accommodate the longer commercial breaks that have since become the industry standard is either cutting actual scenes or making everybody talk just a little bit faster. Or, you know, just making less money.
Sony Pictures Television