comment - television - a few issues

The following questions/comments are based around commercial television (free to air) networks as seen in Australia

Why can't the tv networks show some consistancy in their programming schedules? A classic example would have to be Futurama on channel 7 - they don't show it for a long time, then put on double episodes late on a Thursday night unadvertised, then pulled it off the air for a few weeks before bringing it back as single episodes on a Wednesday ... I have missed many episodes due to this swapping around, as I'm sure many others have also, and this will probably result in lower ratings (because ppl don't know when its on so don't see it), and then they will probably pull it off again saying no-one watches it. Channels 9 and 10 are equally guilty of this tactic, and it is usually on programs with slightly smaller, but truely dedicated fan-bases.

Why must the networks mix old and new episodes of the same program? Can't they show all of a new series without padding it out with repeats?

Advertising: we all hate it, but I can put up with it under one condition - the programs should be shown in full! I would rather the networks show the whole program over a longer period (ie 35 minutes where the timeslot is currently 30), than put up with the hap-hazard and sloppy editing of the tv networks - whoever edits Frasier (9) and the Simpsons (10) need to learn to not take bits out that affect the storyline, and not to cut the characters off mid-sentence. On about my 10th viewing of a particular Simpsons episode I actually saw part of the episode I had never seen before due to 10 presumably re-editing the orginal! Of course of bits of the episode were missing ...

I would have thought a longer timeslot would be better from the networks perspective too ... it would be less programming they would have to purchase meaning more $$$ - they wouldn't have to buy dodgy programs just to pad out the schedule.

Still on advertising, why does Australia have such a high ratio of ads to program content anyway? I understand it's one of (if not the) highest in the world! New Zealand comes not too far behind ...

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw channel 7 advertising the almost inevitable war against Iraq! Is that appropriate? Are 9 and 10 doing it too? (that wouldn't surprise me)

Thank goodness we have SBS and the ABC to help keep some balance in our viewing, and to give a less Americanised picture of the world - those who have seen Bowling for Columbine will understand why we need to keep a more independant presentation of the news, although with the level of much of Australian journalism I fear that will never be a quality reality.


Posted: 15 March 2003

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