The Top "Oh, Really?" Reasons Your TV Schedule Changes

An Electronic Program Guide or TV Listings Tab with incorrect, incomplete, or incomprehensible information. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun.

It can cause missed recordings, embarrassing viewing parties, and less-than-informed game day tailgate events. But why?

It’s not always a mistake—or someone’s fault. There are a variety of valid reasons programs and their times may change.

Here’s a hit parade of top reasons your EPG is wrong—through no fault of anyone but to the detriment of us all.

Programming decision
Believe it or not, sometimes your schedule is INTENTIONALLY changed by a programmer. Whether cancelling a show that isn’t doing well, or re-arranging a schedule to maximize ratings, programmers shift programs around for all sorts of reasons from ratings to PR.

Controversial cast issues or deaths
Occasionally, a program will be pulled or delayed due to a death in the cast, or a cast member being a part of a controversial issue.

Network news overrun
When the network news needs to cover a live, breaking event—sometimes they run past their scheduled end time. When that happens, the schedule is intentionally but regrettably changed.

Local news overrun
Just like network news, local news can sometimes bleed over into the regularly scheduled program time, causing a shift in start times that can’t be resolved until a lesser-viewed daypart.

Presidential address or issues of national interest
During times of crisis, or times of national interest, programming is often intentionally changed to incorporate important messages and coverage. The September 11 attacks and their associated events would be such an example.

Sports-related programming changes
Perhaps no form of programming regularly requires changes in program schedules as frequently as sports. Games that run into overtime, networks re-focusing attention on marquee matchups, and additional sports-related schedule changes can upset a schedule at a moment’s notice. Or lack thereof.

Affiliate decisions
Sometimes, affiliates elect to not air a controversial program—or to pre-empt programming with their own local programming. When affiliates decide to switch programs, that’s their right, and the program therefore changes.

Just because a program guide isn’t the way you left it, or what’s on TV isn’t what’s on your Electronic Program, doesn’t always mean a mistake. Sometimes, believe it or not, it’s an intentional change in programming.

And, at FYI, we have plans, data, and systems for every occasion. Just ask us. We’ll put you on our schedule.


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