The commercial TV networks have spent a decade playing games with their program schedules, vying with each other for ratings boosts because of a flaw in the counting system: if an hour-long show is slated to start at 8pm but is ten minutes late those still watching are counted in the 8pm show’s figures. They’re also trying to stop viewers switching, hoping that by making them miss the start of the other network’s show they’ll give up and stick with the channel that’s screwing them around.
It’s flawed logic, because the networks cause growing resentments among those vital to their business success – the viewers. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they drive viewers to timeshift, where they’re far more likely to skip the ads. (You may not like the ads, but they’re paying for the show.) Yes, few creatures on this planet are dumber than a network executive.
So David Knox over at the TV Tonight blog is taking a stand. He’s set up a page where you can log this constant stream of insults on you, the viewer, here: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/late-list When the results are in, he’ll be naming and shaming the worst offenders.
Here’s hoping his next crusade is against those infuriating twitchy programming changes where whole shows are pulled late and the printed guide suddenly becomes useful only as a fly-squat.