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Why is it that CBS skips a show because of an overrun?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by danderson400, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Jun 4, 2017 #1 of 291
    danderson400

    danderson400 Member

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    Why is it that CBS sometimes skips a show when there is a lengthy sports overrun, like the Masters a few weeks ago?
     
  2. Jun 5, 2017 #2 of 291
    JMikeD

    JMikeD Member

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    One reason is that advertisers will sometimes want a commercial to be shown during a specific time period. If a program has to start way late, the network may be obligated to postpone the show in order to make sure the ad runs at the proper ime.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2017 #3 of 291
    brianric

    brianric Well-Known Member

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    If it wasn't for the DVR there would be less TV watching on my part due to reasons like this.
     
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  4. Jun 5, 2017 #4 of 291
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    By the same token CBS is not in the business of encouraging television watching. They're in the business of encouraging commercial watching.

    This message may have been entered using voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.
     
  5. Jun 5, 2017 #5 of 291
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    It's not just CBS. Fox has done this when its national Sunday football coverage ran to 8:30 Eastern. I'm pretty sure NBC and ABC have done this as well when necessary. In fact, NBC had three episodes of Punky Brewster made as two 15-minute mini-episodes each so it could air one of them if its football coverage ran until 7:15 Eastern.

    I think the main reason is, the networks don't want to push the schedule so far that it would affect the local affiliates' local news programs that follow.

    What the networks do in the Pacific time zone as a result is another story. In "ye olden days," when CBS would pull its 8:00 show on Sunday (pulling 60 Minutes was out of the question, although there was at least one time when it was joined in progress in the east, and the lead story aired on another episode a few weeks later), sometimes it would leave the 8:00 Pacific slot empty and have the affiliates show local programming, and other times it would air the 9:00 and 10:00 programs an hour early. Today, I think everybody just airs a repeat of the pre-empted programs; Fox definitely does. Note that this is different from when they air a live sporting event that they know will pre-empt shows in the east (for example, Fox's NASCAR coverage on Memorial Day weekend), in which case the western affiliates are told to fill the time themselves - presumably with the shows they would have aired three hours earlier had it not been for the sporting event.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2017 #6 of 291
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    My understanding is that at least one factor is that ratings don't count if a show starts after 10:00 (11:00 Eastern), or something like that. So there's no upside to airing it, and the downside of having to refund ad money for airing out-of-prime plus costing the local stations money for their news ads.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2017 #7 of 291
    lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    PP has the answer. Network won't start a prime time program after 11:00p (or is it after 10:59). Sports overun is an hour or more a show gets preempted.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2017 #8 of 291
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    Of course if they keep doing things that upset viewers such as that, they may not have any viewers for their shows OR their commercials.

    It's interesting that the OP brings up CBS in relation to this scenario in that CBS regularly delays their Sunday slate without cancelling shows due to sporting events such as the NFL or Golf. Did CBS skip a show after the Masters?
     
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  9. Jun 5, 2017 #9 of 291
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Which of course just prompts them to offer cheaper and cheaper programming. In the end the public airwaves will always offer some level of value to ever is rented license to them. It's just a matter of determining how much investment in programming is justified by how much customers are willing to pay with their eyes. And if the answer is the best use of the public airwaves is occasional news reports interspersed between home shopping network broadcasts then that's what they're going to do. They can take the capital that they would have otherwise invested in drama and comedy productions and invest that in an online only service.

    We just need to not lose sight of the fact that in the end we are doing this to ourselves. The networks are easy. They'll do whatever we want as long as it raises the most amount of money for them.

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  10. Jun 5, 2017 #10 of 291
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    No doubt, it's all about the money. The problem today is there are SO many other alternatives to OTA programming that the viewing public is not going to stand for poor scheduling and poor programming in general. So the networks also have to find a balance if they want to continue to make money. Sure they can offer the cheapest junk and just show that, but how profitable will that end up being in the long run? What advertiser is going to pay for stuff that nobody is watching?
     
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  11. Jun 5, 2017 #11 of 291
    danderson400

    danderson400 Member

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    I remember NBC switching to another game once the "main" game was over, and then airing Punky Brewster when the other game was over, at 7:30. FOX does the same thing these days; that way The Simpsons starts at 8:00
     
  12. Jun 5, 2017 #12 of 291
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Home shopping pays for itself.

    What you are outlining is the decimation of a market rendering it incapable of providing sufficient profitability to attract capital investment. Remember that every dollar invested competes with every other way that dollar can be invested. If broadcast television ever becomes sufficiently less profitable, then the correct answer to that will be to invest less and less money in it and instead direct capital to investments that offer a higher rate of return.

    What's important to keep in mind though is that we're nowhere near that. As much as you beat the drum predicting Doom and Gloom regarding how do you think the viewing public is going to punish broadcasters for what they're doing, it's simply not true. You say that networks need to find a balance but all indications are that they have found a balance - it's just a balance that you don't like. You ask how profitable will the cheapest junk be but ask it in a manner insinuating that it won't be that profitable with no evidence whatsoever. The reality is that home shopping networks make money and if they can make money running commercials 24/7 then surely broadcast networks can make money broadcasting increasingly crappier programming with increasingly more commercial content because many people still consider that better than watching home shopping ... which, again, are profitable.

    There's another aspect of this that we probably don't want to get into too deeply, but keep in mind that we're talking about superior options available via pay services. And make no mistake obtaining television programming through magical means still is utilizing a pay service. A certain percentage of the population is increasingly unable to afford such services. To a great extent the rules that applied to broadcast television have always been affected by realizations that it is the means by which such services reach those less fortunate in our society... "free television". A cynical observer could make rather prejudicial judgments about how the trend towards monetization is adversely affecting those most vulnerable in society. However putting aside that political concern, it is important to recognize that those eyes are still going to be affected by commercial programming because even those less fortunate still make purchasing decisions. And as the choices offered get crappier and crappier by your estimation they remain the only options for some and therefore remain of value to some extent to some advertisers.

    So no matter how you slice it what you're expressing is either wishful thinking or a cynical prediction of exploitation. It doesn't lead to the conclusion that you wanted to lead to.

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  13. Jun 5, 2017 #13 of 291
    That Don Guy

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    There's a "history" about this...ever since the "Heidi Bowl" way back in 1968 (NBC cut away from its broadcast of a Raiders-Jets game with about 2 minutes left to air the movie Heidi, only for the Raiders to score two touchdowns and win), networks have made it a point not to interrupt football for anything except when they had to; the last time I remember any network doing this was something like 30 years ago, when NBC had to interrupt an NFL game in overtime because it had to show its national news before a World Series game. (When CBS interrupted a golf tournament in a playoff to air 60 Minutes on time, so many people (as well as Sports Illustrated) complained that CBS quickly announced that its "no interruption" policy would apply to golf as well.)

    Because NFL games get much better ratings than anything the networks normally show on Sundays, the coverage leaks past 7:00 Eastern so the overrun counts toward that night's ratings. Because of this, when a game ends, the network will switch to another game still in progress, and keep doing this until all of its games have ended. In 2000 or so, Fox and CBS asked the NFL to change the start times of the second games of doubleheaders from 4:05 to 4:15 (because too many 1:00 games were running past 4:05), thus pretty much making sure TV coverage would run until at least 7:30. When too many games were running well past 7:30 (ever hear the story about the King of the Hill Thanksgiving episode that was delayed for an entire year?), Fox stopped trying to program the time slot and added its current postgame show, The OT, to pad the time until 8:00.
     
  14. Jun 5, 2017 #14 of 291
    tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    Another question is why CBS continues to have a schedule that claims 60 minutes will start at 7pm on the east coast when it has probably been 20 or 30 years since the late football games actually finished by 7 :).
     
  15. Jun 5, 2017 #15 of 291
    That Don Guy

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    Because on Fox's NFL doubleheader days, 60 Minutes starts at 7 Eastern.

    This year's Fox doubleheader days are 9/10, 9/17 (although CBS is airing the Emmys that night), 10/8, 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 12/10, 12/24, and 12/31 (although the last one is a CBS doubleheader day as well, so 60 Minutes starts late).
     
  16. Jun 5, 2017 #16 of 291
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I honestly couldn't care less and I'm predicting anything. I'm just making a point that if nobody is watching, advertisers aren't going pay and as you said, if there's no advertising there's no mainstream programing. At that point, we'll all be streaming everything anyway. I'm not one of those who's really annoyed by the delays on Sunday nights when there's NFL or other programming that delays. I know full well this is going to happen and plan for it in advance (either watch live or pad my recordings. Usually I've found that those who complain most about it are generally not sports fans. In fact, if you check the ratings, those weekends where there is NFL overrun, CBS has higher ratings for their slate of shows. Why would they change ANYTHING?

    Edit to add: You mention that Home Shopping pays for itself, but, does it pay anywhere NEAR what an average 30 second spot might?
     
  17. Jun 5, 2017 #17 of 291
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    There have been a couple of times where it actually did start on time on CBS, but it's rare. What I've always wondered is why CBS during NFL season continues to have 4 hours or programming on Sundays, but I guess it's because usually it only affects about half the country. But if it wasn't for DVRs (and I guess VCRs before them), half the country would never watch the last show in the slate.
     
  18. Jun 5, 2017 #18 of 291
    allan

    allan Just someone TCF Club

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    Yesterday, 60 Minutes was on time, but it looked boring, so I watched some of my backlog. Usually, I check at 6 (central time), and if I see sports I watch my backlog, Netflix stuff, or just futz around on the internet. The overruns used to bother me. Now I don't give a damn.
     
  19. Jun 5, 2017 #19 of 291
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Wait. Stop. "If nobody is watching." There is no validity to anything you've written after that phrase until you justify that phrase. The point of much of my earlier message was to outline why that phrase has no merit. Until you get past that again nothing else you write has any validity in this regard. It's like saying "If radio frequencies suddenly stop broadcasting RF signals..." It's quick and easy to predict something like that but everything that follows from that phrase is meaningless.

    Except as I specified in my reply. I recognize that those details undercut the argument you're trying to make but ignoring them doesn't rationalize the argument that you're trying to make.

    First you need to start measuring things in terms of return on investment. The television business will never make sense until that is the foundation of your understanding and projections. Therefore what happens in 30 seconds doesn't matter. What matters is what happens over the course of 24 hours. And home shopping pays over and over and over again every 30 seconds for the entire 24 hours.

    Moreover and perhaps even more importantly there are no licensing fees to pay for acquired broadcast content. So practically the entire top line goes directly to the bottom line. It is an extremely efficient business model as compared to more traditional broadcast television stations.

    You can actually check to see the profitability of the different corporations involved. HSN's ROE is greater than Comcast's.

    What's interesting is that a great deal of the profitability of home shopping comes not from the eyes that are watching it over broadcast but rather because it gives the broadcast channel a foothold in cable systems all across its broadcast area. The broadcast channel does not even need to be practicably receivable by more than a handful of communities and yet it is required to be carried throughout a much broader area. So for an incredibly low cost great profits are earned.

    However you've missed the core point. The television channels that we're talking about don't necessarily need to go that far. Again, the Doom and Gloom that you were predicting is simply not coming to pass. As I said before we're nowhere near that. All indications are that broadcasters have found a balance - it's just a balance that you don't like.

    This message may have been entered using voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  20. Jun 5, 2017 #20 of 291
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I read something recently (I'll see if I can find it) where one of the scheduling execs for one of the networks talked about how they used to pray for NFL overruns because it would boost the ratings on the rest of their shows for the entire night. So it's no surprise that CBS continues to schedule their full block, because when it starts 20-30 minutes late, it's actually a major bonus for them.

    Edit: Here's the link to what I read, and here's the relevant portion:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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