Sunday late afternoon/early evening NFL games that lead into prime-time programming have been a problem for some time -- especially for CBS and Fox. Long-running games have meant later start times for those networks’ non-sports fare -- many times without early notifications for viewers. That has raised the annoyance level among aficionados of specific shows, as well as dinging ratings results. Prime-time programming can shift 15 minutes to 30 minutes -- or even longer -- from their originally scheduled start times.
To address this, CBS has now expanded its “Eye-lert” system that notifies viewers about last-minute time changes for prime-time programming. “Eye-lert” will now feature mobile push notifications for the CBS iOS app. In addition, for doubleheader NFL days, CBS’ entire schedule will shift forward 30 minutes in the Eastern and Central Time Zones.
For a long time, local station newscasts have had to adjust to live sports like Major League Baseball games. That comes with some benefits: Viewers to high-rated sports events may keep watching the local news, which immediately follows.
While networks have had to deal with sports delay issues for years, the problem has more recently affected DVR time-shifting activities, causing episodes to be partly or entirely missed. And more valuable “live” TV events are coming: special musicals; reality singing competitions; a weekly live sitcom on NBC; and even more NFL games.
Networks are seeking to heighten viewership, which in turn benefits marketers who know their commercials are not being seen in a time-shifted format, as well as facing commercial avoidance through fast-forwarding.
New digital media platforms love to talk about how “disruption” has become a business model. But TV programmers may be creating more in-house disruption for their viewers’ media consumption.