Infomercials are long-format television commercials, typically five minutes or longer. Infomercials are also known as paid programming (or teleshopping in Europe). This phenomenon started in the United States where infomercials were typically shown overnight (usually 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.)–outside of peak hours. Some television stations chose to air infomercials as an alternative to the former practice of sign-off. By 2009, most US infomercial spending is during early morning, daytime, and evening hours. Stations in most countries around the world have instituted similar media structures.