Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"We interrupt this program..."

We were watching Boston Legal last week when they broke into the program with news about Barack Obama's victory in the Democratic Party leadership race. The news program continued for twenty-five minutes and then they returned us to Boston Legal twenty-five minutes beyond the point we left! I guess this is a consequence of the network system, presumably programs are broadcast from a single national source with the local studio providing the news, weather and commercials. This makes sense when you consider that the previews explain that a particular program is broadcast at (say) 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central.

There is a radio station called Q103 near where I used to live in England. They have a sister station called Chiltern FM broadcasting about 30 miles away. While they have different DJs and adverts, they follow the same play list in the same order, with one usually a few minutes behind the other. If you are listening and hear a particularly good song, you can switch stations afterwards and there's a good chance it will be just starting on the other station.

I wonder why US tv channels don't even have that much autonomy, enough to allow them to show the same shows but at the time of their choosing. Having news shows that overlap the programs around them seems a little amateur.

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