Eight O'Clock (Seven Central and Mountain)

As a kid, I can remember advertisements for TV shows on the 3 networks that existed in the 70s.

Whenever they mentioned a time, it was always (x) O’Clock, (x-1) Central and Mountain.

I always took this to mean that it was on at 8:00 eastern time, 7:00 central time, and then was delayed 1 hour for Mountain and then delayed 3 hours for Pacific.

Now, I only see 8, 7 Central and they never mention Mountain or Pacific. Does that mean it comes on at 8:00 Mountain and Pacific, meaning it’s delayed 2 and 3 hours respectively? Or has it not changed but they don’t bother mentioning Mountain because there’s a relatively low population (or at least low population density) in most of that time zone?

With computer-based syncronization, the correct voice-overs can be played during the appropriate tape-delayed (OK, not tape, but you know what I mean) replay to suit the audience actually watching. No need for one voice-over for all four time zones anymore.

Here’s Cecil’s take, from 1979.

The Mountain zone is the same time as the Central zone for everything except live events. For example, Saturday Night Live is live in the Eastern and Central zones, but tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific, even though it comes on at 10:30 in the Mountain zone (never tried watching SNL in the Pacific. Before I went to Pennsylvania, I had never seen a live showing of SNL.) For other live over the air events, just subtract 2 hours from any given Eastern time. Monday Night Football starts at 7 PM (the way it should be.) Cable can get interesting (not that I’ve ever dealt with it here) when you can sometimes get both Eastern and Pacific feeds. Other times, it’s just the Eastern feed. I’ve watched Around the Horn at 3, PTI at 3:30, Special Report with Brit Hume at 4, Hardball at 5, and so on.

The way the system works now, the Mountain time zone is pretty much ignored and left to pick up whatever table scraps are available. Most of the networks, cable outlets and satellite providers generally provide 2 feeds–one for the Eastern time zone and one for the Pacific time zone (except for live events).

A show airing at 9:00 on the Eastern feed will also be broadcast at 9:00 Pacific time 3 hours later. The Central time zone sees the Eastern feed live at 8:00 local time.

The poor schlubs in the Mountain time zone will see either the Eastern broadcast at 7:00 or the Pacific broadcast at 10:00, depending on the station. So when we see the announcements we have to figure out which station we’re watching and try to remember whether to subract 2 hours or add 1 hour to the time given.

I should have mentioned that my post pertains mostly to satellite and cable stations. The local network affiliates can and do time-shift network programs so that they’re seen at the “Central” times (sometimes but not always).

And mine was basically for over-the-air. I’ve never had cable at home, so I’m not used to thinking about it.

Some networks have two feeds. What comes to mind instantly is Nickelodeon and Disney channel on Dish Network. Programing is the same, but offset on the “west coast” feed, as opposed to the east coast.

It comes in real handy for us ESTers… who can catch a ‘repeat’ of a show in two hours if we miss it. And yes, some of us still dont have Tivo. :mad:

Well there’s no voiceover in the Central time zone. They either say “Eight O’Clock, Seven Central” or the just say “Eight O’Clock” and we have to remember to subtract an hour. But then again, we’re not tape delayed. You’d think they could voiceover the correct Central time for the people in the central time zone. There’s not much for the kids to watch during primetime, so the TV stays on Disney or Cartoon network during those hours. We tape a lot of stuff to watch later on. I frequently screw up and record things an hour too late because I’ll see a commercial and forget to subtract an hour.

I’ve been to the Pacific and Mountain time zones, but I was just driving through, so I can honestly say that I’ve never watched TV in those zones or watched tape delayed network TV.