View Full Version : Network tv shows starting earlier than scheduled
05-09-2003, 09:30 AM
A long time ago, I got in the habit of programming my VCR to begin taping a show one minute before the scheduled time. I did this on the chance that my clock and the broadcasters are off by a few seconds. That worked for several years, but recently I've noticed that mora and more recordings miss the first bit of a show. And of course, since I did not watch it, I have no idea how much I missed.
Last night (Thurs May 8) I went to tape NBC's ER for my wife who was not home at the time. I chose to tape it manually (rather than by the timer) for reasons not relevant to this post. So, there I am waiting for 10:00 when the show is to begin, and suddenly, there it is! I checked several clocks and watches, and the time read 9:57 or 9:58 on all of them! And these clockd were verified accurate by various sources (including www.time.gov (http://www.time.gov)). Even if my clocks were off by a minute -- or even two minutes -- the network still started broadcasting the show early.
Here's my question: Was this an accident, or is there some crazy marketing-related reason that they do this on purpose. It wouldn't surprise me it they're trying to train us to tune in early so that we'll watch more commercials, but I'm just curious if that's actually the case.
05-09-2003, 09:37 AM
There is a crazy marketing-related cause. NBC is doing a lot of it to try to get you to not get up and walk away (or God forbid, channel-surf) right after the previous program. Or, if you're watching another network, to hurry on up and switch over to ER or West Wing or whatever rather than dawdle, see what's on the other channel and perhaps get hooked into it.
05-09-2003, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by kunilou
There is a crazy marketing-related cause. NBC is doing a lot of it to try to get you to not get up and walk away (or God forbid, channel-surf) right after the previous program. I figure that's the reason for the recent practice of moving from one show directly to the next with zero commercials in between. And it would make sense, if they would time it for whenever their own clocks say "exactly 10:00".
But to start two minutes early? And on show that they've been promoting like crazy all week? (This was ER's 200th episode.) Runs the risk of alienating more people than it would attact, I'd think.
05-09-2003, 11:14 AM
I noticed it too. Perhaps they couldn't cut the show down to the proper time and added it at the begining instead of tacking it on at the end, which is what they usually do when things run long.
"The Simpsons" has been starting at 7:59 recently in L.A. I miss the couch gag and blackboard scenes.
However a show like "24", which probably has a lot of taping done for it, starts precisely at 9:00 pm.
05-09-2003, 12:48 PM
It is a cheap trick by NBC.
05-09-2003, 12:51 PM
Keeve, I also am in the habit of programming the VCR to start a minute or two early and end a minute or two late, just to compensate for the "slop" in the schedule. My problem is that I usually do something stupid like set the start time to 7:58, but then I set the end time to 8:02 instead of 9:02! This pretty much ruined the first season of "24" for me.
05-09-2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Shoeless
My problem is that I usually do something stupid like set the start time to 7:58, but then I set the end time to 8:02 instead of 9:02! Been there, done that.
I feel your pain!:smack:
05-10-2003, 02:52 AM
ER has been starting early for several years now, and Friends usually ends late. The reason is simple: money. The higher-rated a show is, the more the network can charge for ads during it. By extending the time slot slightly, they can squeeze in a few more expensive commericals, instead of running those ads for a much lower price during Scrubs or Good Morning Miami. You're not actually getting any more program content.
05-10-2003, 08:41 AM
Here in the UK we have PDC ( programme delivery control) which is a signal sent via the text service. This will start and stop your VCR at the correct time even if the programme is running late or early . It is set up as part of the Video+ code .
05-10-2003, 09:17 AM
All my local news channels start early (about two minutes). They have been doing this for years. I know this cause they start the captioning signal 5 minutes early, which causes me to not get the captions for those 5 minutes for the show Im watching, which is usually the verdict part.
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