Want us to watch your show? Start them on time!

Late starting times are now getting out of hand….

We’ve put up with delays of five, six, seven minutes but now it’s getting beyond a joke.

Last night The Amazing Race on Seven started at 10:50pm after being advertised at 10:30pm. Why?

Titanic was due to start at 8:30pm according to all the ads, Seven’s online Guide and print guides, but it began at around 8:45pm. Australia’s Got Talent was also late because Home and Away ran overtime. Again.

And the daily culprit was Today Tonight, which is incapable of finishing on time despite Seven News miraculously starting on the dot of 6pm day in, day out. It does this in order to sync with regional broadcasters.

None of last night’s programmes after 7pm were live -all were pre-recorded, edited and delivered to the network. So why didn’t Seven update its online EPG?

Maybe everybody on Fango should start complaining about this topic.

However, Seven is hardly alone in this habit.

Last week I waited for a 7:30pm episode of Bondi Vet. It started at 7:42pm after The Biggest Loser. I took note not to bother with Bondi Vet again after that. Who lets a 30 minute show run for 42 and thinks this is acceptable?

Nine also runs shows overtime with repetition. The Block and Celebrity Apprentice were appalling in this last year.

ABC and SBS seem to be much closer to the mark than commercials as far as I can see.

Networks are doubly shooting themselves in the foot over this.

If your show is late, we’ll just record it and watch it in our own time. That means we won’t have to watch it Live, we won’t see your sponsor ads, and you won’t get the overnight ratings.

At least viewers with Foxtel’s EPG can see accurate times (including for FTA), which I presume must also be available elsewhere. Maybe readers can fill me in.

So while networks are struggling to compete with Nine’s breakout show The Voice maybe they should create a point of difference by actually starting theirs on time?

It’s revolutionary I realise, but that’s my 2c worth.


  1. Timely issue and glad you raised it David. The whole craft and pride in broadcasting is really under question in Aussie at this time. And, about time!

    This and the horrendous saturation advertising are key problems right now.

  2. nightflowerlily

    STB do not show the new time so if you have setup record weekly for eg then the program always starts and finishes at the times set in your STB EPG not the actual time it starts so if you’re in a rush and don’t add extra time you miss the ending. This is getting worse on channel 7 and 9.

    This situation makes it more likely that a person will watch a show on the net instead. I tend to watch a lot more online now Because the TV stations are going overtime. As you said in the article David “If your show is late, we’ll just record it and watch it in our own time. That means we won’t have to watch it Live, we won’t see your sponsor ads, and you won’t get the overnight ratings.”
    Why is it so hard for them to get this in their heads?

    It seems you can not email Channel 7 at all, I found the on help.yahoo.com/l/au/yahoo7/tv/basics/tvcontactchan7.html they state “Please note: Channel 7 doesn’t accept complaints, feedback, or answers to any questions via email support.” Why not?

  3. This is just so true and so frustrating!

    I can understand, and forgive, live shows/broadcasts running OT, but there is simply no reason for pre-recorded shows to ever do this.

    It is a blatant grab at false ratings, and it shows the utter contempt that TV stations hold their viewers in.

  4. I have bitched and bitched so many times on this lovely site so many times about Channel “blinking” 7 and how it runs late with Desperate Housewives every freaking week – nearly 40 mins late this week. Once this series finishes I swear I am never, ever watching anything on that station ever again. Not even if they some how get the rights to a show that locates, resurrects and re-unites every character from “Spooks” to do a spin off. Never. Ahhhhh!

  5. One thing we could do is bombard the networks their social networks.

    For example, if you “like” Channel 9 on Facebook and you see that they post something like “The Block begins tonight at 7 O’Block” it would be great if everyone responds with something like “don’t you mean 10 past 7 O’Clock? Why don’t you ever start your shows on time”.

    Although I don’t think 7 have a Facebook page, they do have pages for their shows, such as Home and Away etc.

    This would make it a lot more public.

  6. So have we had a response from the networks? Or are they too gutless to respond? No doubt they’ll prob just make a whole lot of excuses and not actually accept responsibility. That’s what i’ve found when i made complaints to Seven and Ten. They just ignored the issue and made meaningless excuses.

    I’m thinking about making a complaint to the Communications Minister, cos ACMA would do bugger all.

  7. @Rayne,If watching on a regional such as WIN you may have found that was actually a scheduled advent,living on the Sunshine Coast I used the WIN 30 minute difference with Nine to swap between channels (we get both) I used this to watch an act on AGT without missing The Voice.

  8. That half hour over run on Nine on Tuesday was just ridiculous. The Voice is pre-recorded. I expect a 5-10 minute over-run with the main channels these days but there is no excuse for almost 30 minutes! If your overblown reality show is going to run for 2 hours instead of 90 minutes then it should be scheduled as such in the original guide and in the promos!

    Seven, Nine and Ten are the main offenders and it seems to be when the reality shows are on. The digitals seem to manage to stick to within 5 minutes of advertised start/finish times.

  9. My dad wanted to tape new big bang theory, I told him to allow half an hour or more past when it is supposed to finish because I knew the voice would run over time. It was not even a wonder or a question, it was a foregone conclusion, and he told me I was right. I don’t watch anything live, I set a massive over run on all my recordings and every so often I check the updated EPG to make sure it hasn’t moved even beyond the generous time I have allowed.

  10. @tomothyd “The reason why shows also run on time in the US is because they have to for the local affiliate stations who all air their local late night news services.”.
    But if the network’s late the news is late, then “The Late Show” or whatever is late, so don’t quite follow this explanation. They run on time because they have to.
    Regional stations here quite often run their own programming after 11:30pm, such as WIN.

  11. David, your 2c worth is now worth about $10.50, talk about getting some interest!

    I add my voice to the rest. Here’s a list of tv programs my wife and I regularly watch:

    7 News, ABC News, Media Watch, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, New Girl, Raising Hope, Once Upon a Time, Packed to the Rafters, Revenge, Survivor, The Good Wife, Titanic. And a whole bunch of other dramas and comedies, too many more to list here.

    We are in what the marketers call, I think, the A/B demographic: double income, no kids, prime candidates for advertising.

    Here’s a list of the shows we watch live:
    7 news, ABC News, Media Watch.

    That’s it.

    You know, 7, 9 and Ten could disappear tomorrow and I wouldn’t miss them one iota!

  12. I’ll admit I’ve been blasting Seven for being late for Titanic and other shows . But the one thing I think they did right with it was put it on the same day for two weeks. I just wish they’d stop encouraging me and others to want to avoid watching new shows by being constantly late. Maybe others here record things but surely they shouldn’t want that. And I know it’s not just Seven that’s does this. Because it’s all the main commercial channels. Although I’d love a surprise if they decided to be within 3 minutes of 8.30pm next week with Titanic. I know it’s unlikely.

  13. steve sydney

    This has begged the question for some time now. How can a Network claim to ‘win’ a time slot if there are 2 programs in it? i.e the intended broadcast and the previous one that runs late??

    I have to admit that I would be completely lost without my Foxtel IQ recorder.

  14. steveany 2.0

    Excellent David! It’s a serious problem and I heartily endorse your readers’ comments below.
    BTW, good to see you back doing what you do best, i.e. trying to keep the bastards honest.
    Speaking of bastards, it’s also interesting to see that the usual TV network trolls haven’t commented on this story. I was expecting to see at least a few: “Ch9 is better than Ch7 at starting on time” etc etc. :-)

  15. People talking about EPG’s…they are irrelevant. Even once the EPG has been updated the networks still advertise the original time. Seven does it all the time. Their EPG may have been updated a few days ahead to say Revenge at 8.41, but all day on the date it airs they still screen ads saying 8.30. This is clearly lying and false advertising. They know the updated time, why still advertise the original time it was meant to start? It’s bad enough they get away with not running shows on time, but this pisses me off just as much.

  16. Just as an aside, there are ways other than the Foxtel EPG to get shows to record with a fairly accurate EPG…

    My current favourite is to use one of the newer TMS Topfields, running the AutoSched and TMSTimer TAPs. These will (respectively) search for and schedule shows by name, no matter what time or day they change to *and* they will adjust these schedules if they later move in the EPG. All you have to do is set your Topfield to scan one channel from each MUX for a few minutes each day (watch mode, rather than record).

    Of course this doesn’t help with Ten, who don’t issue EPG accuracy updates from Sat-Mon and on holidays.

    One other nice feature is the new Topfields can record two programmes from the one MUX, so you can record up to four channels at one time.

  17. I had decided to sacrifice The Amazing Race last night because of conflicts with other programs I wanted to watch and record. I had a peek at 7 on a whim and realized that I could now record TAR because as I should probably have known it did not start at the scheduled time. This late start situation is out of control. I feel I am being treated like a fool by the networks. I want to watch your shows. Tell the truth about start times and I will watch instead of having to find other ways to watch a favourite show. It’s not really that hard is it?

  18. Channel 7 has always been the worst at keeping a schedule, 9 and 10 are catching up. If you want to set PVR to record something at 9:30-10:00pm it needs to be set to record 9:30-11:00 just to make sure you actually record the entire program.
    Digital subchannels are more reliable than the main commercial channel, so someone in the programming room can actually read a clock.
    ABC and SBS set a schedule 7 days out, and 7 days later follow that schedule, why can’t the others ????
    I no longer watch any commercial networks live since I got my PVR, its much more efficient to watch 3min of a program and skip over the 4min of ads.

  19. I agree 100% with every word. Sick to death of the late running of every single program. I don’t think I’ve watched anything except News24 live for the last year and a half.

    My PVR has a 30 second skip button so I don’t see a single ad – just have to press the skip about 8 times and the show’s back on. Works a treat And I don’t get shouted at by terrible ads.

  20. The reason why shows also run on time in the US is because they have to for the local affiliate stations who all air their local late night news services. As we don’t have local news after 6pm, or so many regional affilliates like in the US, there are no concerns for the networks to run on time.
    And like others, I noticed that Hot Seat often starts at 5.24-5.26pm with the news starting to 5.58pm.
    I noticed even GEM are running Ellen 4 mins late now so Freinds begins late.
    Talking of GEM, I have been watching Freinds more these days, and during the commercials, you would think that GEM only has 3 other shows on the channel, as they continuously only advertise three of their own shows.

  21. Would love to see a response from the network programmers over this… I need a good laugh.
    This is one of many reasons I dont watch FTA live anymore, except for Q&A. I plan my night so everything is on delay, so I can skip all the ads. This also means I can skip thru filler in shows like The Voice. Luckily, with series link on my Foxtel IQ, I dont miss anything as it is updated daily with correct times. Good article David!

  22. Absolutely agree with your article David.

    But, my EPG on my tv and 2 Topfields had TAR starting at 10.51pm last night so I did change my timer from 10.30pm.

    Have no idea how close to 10.51pm it did actually start though!

  23. Peter Batson

    There should be a law against it – literally.This situation really isn’t good enough and demonstrates how the commercial broadcasters, particularly Seven/Prime and Nine/WIN, are treating viewers with contempt. Hats off to the ABC and SBS (and sometimes Ten/Southern Cross Ten) whose programs more often than not start right on time or within a few minutes of their scheduled broadcast time. Seven/Prime have consistently aired the latest series of The Amazing Race excessively late since the show began. One night it started 22 minutes late. It’s shameful.

  24. But Don Lane and IMT overrun was around 11pm, running into a Late News so it wasn’t such a drama. They always started on time at 9:30 as many regional stations, with no communications to Nine, had to rely on the “Start time” they got earlier in the day, and “9:30” was never 9:32.

  25. I rarely watch the shows I am interested in live when it comes to FTA purely for this reason. I record and/or series link everything that I want to watch on the Foxtel IQ as the guide is 99.9% spot on when it comes to the start and finish times. And I do not have to watch any of the ads which is even better.

  26. Re the contempt they show for their viewers, David I hope you can cover the appalling way Nine is dealing with the Australia/New Zealand test on Friday night.

  27. Fantastic editorial David! And by looking at the comments it just shows that this is a huge issue with viewers.

    It also just cements two facts about the Australian TV industry-
    1. That it is painfully under-regulated. If the rest of the world can have fines for such things I don’t understand why we don’t. Australian networks are far too powerful and the viewer has no where capable to turn to.
    2. That the networks are conditioning the younger, tech-savvy viewers to stay away from them. Don’t respect the older viewers, that’s fine, they’ll be gone soon. It’s the younger ones, the future audience, that know how to download and are learning to not have any loyalty to the networks because they can’t show a series on time or fast-tracked and turn to downloading instead. The tides will turn. Give it a few years, when the younger generations start to get older and the networks will begin to start shows on time. But it’ll be too late by then…

  28. @jonno – Exactly what we do too. Rarely watch any commercial FTA “live” these days. All on PVR. And who’s to blame for that? Yes, love being able to whiz thru 5 mins. of commercials at x64.
    @stilesy – No they weren’t like this at all. Speaking as a Program Co-Ordinator from TCN & TEN in the 70s/80s all programs ran on time. Except of course for IMT, Don Lane etc.
    Commercial limits were 12 mins/hr. I remember when stations used to actually show clocks before the program from 8:29:45 etc.
    It’s more difficult for ABC to run on time, but which they do, as they have to creatively fill out time between programs quite often.

  29. harrypotter1994

    The worst one that annoyed me was TAYG (when it was on Tuesday nights) always ran overtime so you had to decide whether to watch the end of TAYG or the start of Rafters…

  30. Yes, networks will come unstuck with PVRs. I can tape 4 channels at once. I have started to do this lots lately as i am sick of shows not starting on time. Mine can fast forward the ads very fast. Doing this means i can watch an hour show in 40 minutes. I love it.

  31. I just wonder if 7, 9 & 10 were this bad running shows overtime 10 or 15 years ago?, I bet networks always started shows in primetime on time in those days.

  32. I am glad you wrote this article. Last night was a disgrace. how can viewers plan their night when the networks do this. I will start turning off the main offenders, don’t care how much i like the show.

  33. If you notice on Fridays when Seven have an AFL game at 7.30 TT somehow manages to finish at 7pm on the dot. What’s worse is when a show is advertised to start at a particular time but starts early like last night on 7mate, American Pickers is in the guide as starting at 9:30pm yet last night it started at 9:27pm.

  34. I couldn’t agree more David. I’ve all but given up watching FTA TV, as I rarely watch anything “live” and always record everything with my PVR.

    It’s infuriating when you record something, add 20 minutes to either end of the recording as a “safety margin” only to discover the show has started nearly 30 minutes late, so I’ve missed the end of the show.

    Not good enough :(

  35. In the US, CBS tweets on Sundays when there are live sport overruns. Example: The Amazing Race will start at 8.47pm ET, eastern market only due to NBA orerrun. Then they follow up with the next show at 9.47, and 10.47, etc.

    We all know the late starts here are no accident, they are a deliberate strategy. What you put in your PVR days in advance will often have to change on the night due to EPG updates.

    Thankfully EPGs are updated on Foxtel, usually TIVO as well, but I pity those who don’t get an up to date EPG.

    A few mintues, we can handle. 15, 20 or more very wrong. NIne currently the worst with this – espeically after The Voice

  36. Gosh, I hope this article make’s something good happen. You just can’t go from one channel to another at all at the moment, becuase nothing is alined. You have to resign yourself to watching just one channel, becuase its so treacherous. I guess that’s what they are setting out to do. They are forgetting that watching tv is supposed to be a relaxing enjoyable thing to do.

  37. Exactly David. I had to abandon watching this season of The Amazing Race on 7 after each episode consistently started 15+ minutes late causing me to lose the end of every episode on the dvr.

    The preceeding shows are all “in the can”, so 7 know exactly how long they are going to run to notify the EPG’s of changes to running times. The only point to doing this is to try and prevent you from switching over and just stick with the programming.

    Their only legitimate excuse is a major breaking news story, and this has not been the case at all.

  38. The commercial networks aren’t going to run on time unless ACMA forces them to. And since ACMA is spineless and toothless, that just isn’t going to happen.

  39. Ads are timed to the second and all pre-recorded programmes are static the only time this should happen is during a truly live(not live to tape) production.
    Effectively what they are doing is extending what they consider primetime they are aware that and ignore the fact 10/15 minutes is crucial at 8.30 but irrelevant at midnight.
    Stricter guidelines are needed as self regulation is only exposing the arrogance and ineptitude of commercial programmers.

  40. I am sick to death of late starts and it’s time the networks are fined because its just bad practice. Australians have really come complacent about it though and we think it’s ok but it’s not. In America you get in trouble if you are 1 minute late. Here nothing happens. It’s time the networks were given a wake up call. They deserve to be punished. Nine this week have been a complete joke when it comes to late starts and Seven are no better either. Even TEN have a bad track record too. If ABC and SBS can schedule on time why can’t the others? I hope someone cracks down on then for this but ACMA has no power so it will never happen.

  41. Recorded Offspring last night as I planned to watch Titanic, which i didn’t end up doing anyway because it started at 8.45 so i watched Gordon Street Tonight on ABC which started on time. But recorded something at 9.30 too so I have now just discovered I missed the last 10 minutes of Offspring. Look at the ratings for Offspring. They need all the viewers they can get, but i won’t be watching anymore. What’s the point if i’m just gonna miss the first or last 10 minutes each week.

  42. I agree. Really gets my goat how most FTA channels think that viewers are too stupid to realise that this is a deliberate tactic that is only going to get worse.
    Part of the reason why I only bother with a certain number of shows (ABC and SBS are fine) unless I want to watch live FTA sport.
    If I want to watch something, I PVR it. No-one gets the ratings, no-one gets any revenue from me as I’m not watching the ads. I’m far from alone, when are the commercial networks going to learn this?
    Probably after Ten have played The Devil Wears Prada for the eighth time this year…

  43. Hehehe David. So true. Although the EPG for me indicated Titanic would start sometime after 8.44pm. That’s why I flicked though all the channels on my TV just to see what else was on. As I had nearly 15 minutes to do so. Settled on the ABC for awhile.

    As an example if they put Once Upon A Time on a time I can’t watch I’ll admit I’d probably have mixed feelings about it. Because if it’s constantly 10-15 minutes late anyway then I might end up glad. I don’t know why TV Stations want viewers happy they don’t watch them. Because I thought they were supposed to want to maximise viewers. Not drive them away. And no I won’t record the shows either nor the ads. I’ll just miss them. I prefer DVDs that have no ads usually.

    P.S. Sorry about the length but it is a lightening rod issue for me.

  44. Seven have got to be the worst for this especially on a Tuesday night it is beyond a joke! I can’t say how many times I’ve missed the end of recorded shows like parenthood! And there was. 10 minute buffer.
    I now have obtained parenthood elsewhere but have Rafters on record from 830-10.30 never know where it will end up following that trash AGT

  45. The absurdity seems to start early. I’ve noticed my TV telling me it’s 5:24 when Hot Seat starts and 5:58 when the 9 News starts. Seven News is 5:59. H&A runs 7:04 to 7:34 (except for Friday AFL night when it’s 7:00 (as others have noted).
    @Brekkie- “Why aren’t the regulators taking action.” ‘Cause there aint no “regulators”. Bring back the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Set commercial limits to 12 mins/hr as they used to be, not …whatever…, as now.

  46. As far as I know there is no actual regulating body the networks have to answer to any more, it’s all ‘self regulating’ which obviously means SFA in any business. And then there’s nights like a few Saturdays ago when TEN wiped their whole schedule, without notice, to run an old movie for the 1000th time. They really don’t give a stuff about their audience, it’s just ratings and beating up the other networks.

    9 might have been ‘the one’ once upon a time, but nowadays viewers hate the lot of them.

    Thank heavens for the ABC and SBS who you can rely on to stick to their schedule and (more or less) on time.

  47. adelaide_john

    Its not confined to prime time
    I have often set the PVR to record Skippy (anytime between 1.30am to 4.30am on Ch 9 Adelaide) and there have been many occasions where I either miss the first or last 5 – 10 minutes of the show, even after allwoing for over runs in time etc
    My 2 and 5 year olds love watching Skippy

  48. @ aussie and whoever else has trouble with recording shows on 10 on the weekend.
    I have found that on friday nights after 6pm channel 10 on my epg show correct times all the way to monday and even sometimes tuesday. I record king of queens and becker and a few other things and they always start 4 or 5 mins past the hour. This is just a suggestion on how i tend to do it and hope it helps you out.

  49. Thank you for this article. I know I sound like a broken record writing about this issue every week, but i’ve had enough.

    I only really watch Aussie shows on tv now, because they are rarely available anywhere else. If networks fasttrack i generally do the right thing and watch them on the networks. Not anymore.

    I’ve complained to the networks before. Seven’s response was they’re allowed to show so many ads an hour and they do. Which means they have more program content than what will fit within an hour and within their advertising space.
    Seven spokesperson also said they try to make sure shows start within 10 minutes late. That itself was a pathetic answer because they should try to start shows on time. To me it sounds like they aim to get 10 minutes late now. And if that’s the case then they failed cos Titanic started at 8.45.

    It’s a deliberate tactic so networks can prevent viewers switching channels. We all know this.
    And as others have mentioned, it’s quite amazing how Seven is able to finish TT and H&A on time when they have footy or the Australian Open was on.

    And there’s no where to complain to. I complained to the network, got a response that was just full of shit. And now what? This issue isn’t part of the code. It amounts to false and misleading advertising because they play ads all week and on the day stating one time, but then it starts 15 minutes late despite the EPG updated so they know the right time. So who do we complain to?

    David you’re the boss man, can you start a campaign? Get a petition. I dunno. Seriously it’s got to stop.

  50. I remember failing to start a show on time being a big issue in the UK in the early nineties. mainly due to sporting events running over the allotted time. The governing body for Television broadcasting OFCOM, implemented a fine system. Networks were allowed to overun a certain number of times a year, I think it was 5. Once they went over 5 late starts the tv channels were fined for each late event. Maybe we need something similar to be implemented here. The commercial stations would be broke within a month! This is one of the reasons I rarely watch FTA now. Fed up of waiting for a show, or missing the end of something I have recorded. I even make sure with FTA I allow for overruns by 30 minutes and sometime even this is not enough.

  51. Couldn’t agree more.
    There is no reason at all they should be allowing 30 minute pre-recorded programs to go any longer than they should be.
    The only time you should see the schedule get that far out of place is after a live telecast that ran over. Not a bunch of non-live programming.

  52. Amen!!!! Preaching to the choir here but it’s something that networks need to know us annoying viewers big time. On Monday, seven’s late night sitcoms were scheduled to start late on my epg but they started even later and ran extra episodes – so confusing!!

  53. They do it on purpose so as to cut into other programs and prevent us from changing the channel. The method is underhanded and undermines loyalty.

    The problem is competition between the networks. However, when competition is affecting the quality of their service, it will only cause a loss of viewers who will seek more reliable avenues to view content. It would pay for the networks to show a credible front, rather than to try outdo each other desperately.

  54. My favourite thing to point out is the ability channel Seven has to have Home and Away start at precisely 7pm when the footy is to follow! But the four nights before it will have started at 7:04pm.

  55. I agree with you David 100% – it’s a disgrace. But it gets worse, Channel 10 do not update their EPG at all on Saturdays or Sundays…it states all programmes are starting on the hour or half hour…yeah right, that would be nice!
    And as usual TEN pass the buck…apparently they outsource the EPG data to an external company who are responsible for updating!
    About time we started a Facebook campaign

  56. I knew that The Amazing Race was going to start later than the advertised time so I didn’t bother with it as I had to go to work the next day. I’ll watch it on Plus7 later today.

    It’s no wonder the ratings for ABC and SBS are slowly creeping up. People are getting tired of shows ending much lately in order to keep you from changing channels.

  57. How do we see accurate times on Foxtels EPG? I had a few shows on remote record from 7, 9 and 10 but they always cut off the last half of the show so i got rid of them.

  58. This is something I have never understood. In order to be more competitive, they lie and cheat and do sneaky tricks. Meanwhile the audiences, who have no Network loyalty (anybody who believes they do is seriously fooling themselves) are confused and frustrated, go to alternative and more reliable sources for their entertainment.

    So their tricks to keep audiences are actually driving them away.

    All this seems to have happened in only the last few years. Just imagine what the TV landscape will be like in ten years time.

  59. Yea it happens all the time with today tonight. starts at 6:30pm and ends at 7:04pm every night. But I’ve learnt on Fridays when AFL is on it finishes at 7pm. and Home and Away always at 7:30pm. At least now with epg’s the schedule shows its correct time.

  60. I agree it’s very annoying, but I actually think it works for the networks in the way they want it to.

    Until the networks see otherwise, it will continue to just get worse.

    It would make much more sense lobbying the ACMA to force networks to start shows at exactly the top and bottom of the hour, or at atvertised times.

    It’s quite amazing in the US this kind of thing is almost completely non existant. The regulators there require networks start shows on the hour to the second. It’s amazing when you flick around at 8.59 and 55 seconds you will see hundreds of chnanels running credits, then Boom at 9pm on the dot the next show begins. All networks are in sync almost exactly to the second.

    Like the Bullet train in Japan! It’s amazing how they do it. Shows are edited and come in at exactly the right time. And if they do not, extra commercisl are added oir the show edited. But shows never run or start late in the US. If they do, they are advertsied as such. For example NBC used to advertise that ET started at 10,02pm, rather than 10pm.

  61. This is so annoying. Channel 7 is especially Bad! I now have to record the show after to see the end of a show!
    Good to see Channel Ten last night starting the Good Wife on time

  62. I absolutely agree with you David – Ten was a source of this malfeasance originally but now they all do it. It’s why I rarely watch a show on its first-run and see it later on my own time, if the networks won’t respect their own published guides.

  63. +1

    As you point out, all these shows are pre-recorded and on digital media, so the networks know their exact duration days or weeks in advance.

    Why do they get it wrong? There have been any number of network whistle-blowers post on places like Whirlpool in the past, asserting that it’s all deliberate. The claims are it’s usually done to either overlap another network’s top rating shows, or to force exposure to new or low-rating shows on their own network.

  64. I concur! This is arguably one of the biggest issues affecting quality of life for those that watch TV! I record shows and allow 120 mind for a 60min show sometimes, if there are no clashes with later shows on a different channel! Programming the PVR does require frequent amendments too!
    I am just hoping I got all of Offspring, Mentalist, and TAR! I refused to watch them live & wait for them to start late. That was I can catch up on the previous how’s in my own time!

  65. I consistently lose the end of programs I’ve recorded on my PVR due to unscheduled overruns, and I have a 15-minute buffer! I refuse to change the settings out of principle. The networks need to smarten up.

  66. Well we all know the reason when Seven has shows running over and the next starting later as the night progresses. it’s to keep viewers from switching but IMO it can backfire with viewers just recording the shows they want and watching other channels/shows live. That’s what I do.

    Most shows I don’t want to miss I set the PVR and watch them later, skipping the ads.

    At least on PayTV if shows aren’t going to start exactly on time the EPG is changed, right down to just hours or even minutes before the broadcast. If shows aren’t going to start on time why can’t FTA keep there relativity few channels up to date?

    Again ABC and SBS are the most reliable, with TEN next then a toss up of 7 & 9 for the main channels for being the worst.

  67. Sounds like they sold more ad space that what they legally have alotted

    Who checks on this nowadays

    I am sure all the stations are screening way more ads than in the past

  68. I’m glad you raised this David. It’s one of the main reasons I find it harder to take Commercial TV seriously.

    I agree that rather than sit and wait for a late-starting show, I just set it to record and watch it later. (And add an extra 20 minutes to the recording time, to allow for the late start/finish.) And yes, because it’s recorded, I skip through the ads. Surely they don’t want me to do that!

  69. Why aren’t the regulators taking action. As I’ve said numerous times here I don’t get why it’s allowed to happen. Unless it’s a genuine over run a show doesn’t usually start later than 4 minutes past the hour here in the UK (though the BBC have a history of over running on Christmas Day), while in the US (the most competitive TV market surely) I believe they have to pretty much start on the dot. From what I’ve seen in schedules if a show will begin at 9:02 it is billed as beginning at 9:02.

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