Prime Time 7p or 8p

Why does prime time start (Sunday excluded) at 7pm in Central and Mountain but 8pm in Eastern and Pacific time. I like it better at 7pm.

I can see in the old days where shows were live they could do a live at 8pm EST 7pm CST and since most people lived in those zones at least 1/2 the time zones would get a good live broadcast instead of the bad kinescope tape they would air later. But this isn’t the case anymore

And didn’t they experiement in San Fran awhile back with starting prime time at 7pm?

And let’s throw in bonus. Why start prime at 7pm in Mountain time?

Prime time actually starts at 7pm in the Eastern and Pacific zones, too; but because of the Prime Time Access Rule (PTAR), the networks don’t start their programming then–they allow affiliates to strip a syndicated show or shows for one hour.

You answered your own question – prime time starts at different times because it always started at different times. Here in the Midwest, we got used to our network entertainment starting at 7:00 (actually it was 6:30 in the old days) and ending at 10:00. If everyone is comfortable with it, why change? On the other hand, you’re right that there’s no reason it can’t be different now – witness the San Francisco experiment (although I believe that was just one station, not all of them.)

Prime time starts at 7:00 Central because stations in the Eastern time zone often broadcast to residents in the central zone. Advertisers don’t want people to be mixed up.

The Pacific Zone doesn’t have this problem because the Rocky Mountains cut them off from stations further east, and the Mountain Zone was for a long time too sparsely populated; stations seemed to be able to make their own decisions.

That’s why you used to hear “Shown at 8 Central, 9 Eastern and Pacific”


Thanks for the thread