Just what are channel Nine trying to do to Rescue (Special Ops)?
Last week, Nine did not update their EPG meaning that Rescue showed as starting at 8.30pm and finishing at 9.30pm. But last Monday was the premiere of the new season of The Farmer Wants a Wife which ended up not finishing until 8.45pm. That meant, that my recording of Resuce had 15 minutes of Farmer at the beginning.
And because I did not have the foresight to add an extra 20 minutes to Rescue that night, I missed out on the end. I have to say, I could tell the EPG was not correct based on the fact it still said 8.30 exactly as the start time and 9.30 exactly as an end time, but thought, at worst, it would only end up being out by a few minutes.
Nine have not been that bad in recent months – in fact most of the year – with their EPG being up to date and accurate. Even on their biggest night ever (well since I have been involved in TV writing anyway!) their EPG was correct.
On Sunday August 21,with The Block finale airing from 6.30- 8.30, so concerned was I about a possible huge overrun of The Block that I added an extra HOUR to Underbelly: Razor – which premiered after The Block finale -so I would not miss a thing.
As it turns out, The Block finished at 8.32, and the EPG had 8.34 as the start time for Underbelly: Razor. I was actually worried for a moment as I wrapped up my Block live blog that Underbelly would start a minute early and people who had set it to record may miss the opening minute. Thankfully two minutes of typical channel Nine self promotion prevented that scenario from arising.
Then there is this week. An amendment issued so late and possibly in secrecy to a select few resulted in a double episode of Rescue on Monday night this week – bumping out (as usual) CSI: Miami. Thankfully, I had channel Nine on earlier in the night and heard it was a double episode.
My IQ had not put in the second episode to record, so I had to add it in myself. I do not trust series link for last minute changes like this, and have no idea that, had I have series linked Rescue, that the 9.30 episode would have added itself in after the 8.30 one in any case.
Anyway, I saw it was on, checked Throng’s email for amendments and checked internet TV guides only to see that CSI: Miami was still in for 9.30 and we had no email notifying us of the amendment. Any wonder the audience gets confused? Ratings-wise, the second episode only dropped about 100,000 from the first – BUT – with the change being so late, CSI: Miami episode one still would have shown in the ratings top 50 for the day. The first episode was also down on usual, and frankly speaking was nowhere near as good as the previous two were.
Here at Throng, we spotted the erronious CSI in the top 50 for the day and changed it accordingly.
But what if I saw NO channel Nine last night, and relied on my recording to watch Rescue later in the week – as was the case last week? I would have missed the second episode, and not been aware of it to change the CSI entry in the ratings. I would have had no idea it was on which is just plain stupid and a blatant disrespect for viewers. Anyone who had set their recorders in advance and were out, working or away for the night will have been disadvantaged.
Seeing that timeshift figures these days can change completely the outcome for the week in ratings, the networks should have respect for those who watch virtually nothing live recording shows to watch later the same night, or on other nights.
This is the subject matter that got me into writing about TV a few years ago – back then, an accurate EPG on channel Nine and Seven was unheard of, with Ten being the only commercial that offered such a logical convenience for viewers.
It is disappointing to see it still happens in 2011, although I have to say, these sorts of occurrences are rare in comparison to years gone by.
You used to have to program to record baring in mind that an 8.30 start time could mean anything from 8.31 to 8.43, and a 9.30 finish time similar an hour later. I even posted a guide on my blog at the time to help viewers understand what an advertised time translated to into real time.
I have said it before, and will say it again – there is no reason in this day and age for EPGs not to be accurate to the minute at all times, other than when live events run late or there is late breaking news involved. And there is no reason to change programming for a night hours before shows air. There should be rules against this – in some countries, their networks MUST provide an EPG to the minute at all times. Why not here?