Please explain

Ok someone please explain to me what premium cable, basic cable and the other stuff lol for American TV and can someone explain to me, does the earliest time zone in America see scheduled stuff 1st then the other time zones have to wait for their "Sunday 9pm ?" There is also a time zone in America that is 4 hours behind me (can't remember the name and I'm from the uk)

Thanks guys :)

Comments

  • Premium Cable = special, a la carte channels people pay for - HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, etc.
    Basic Cable = Standard channels in a cable package - there are different flavors of "basic" but think of it as Networks, USA, TNT, FX, AMC, Sundance, ESPN, CNN, etc...
    ghm3
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I think it depends.  Live sports are live, of course, so everybody watches the big events at the same real time.  I've seen a lot of shows advertise their schedules as 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, so I'm guessing that instead of showing things across 4 time zones, they do 2 showings.  Eastern and Mountain/Pacific.  But I don't know if that's literally true, I haven't traveled enough to remember it.  But the Pacific people do see it on quite the delay.  Which sucks.  I get why TV does it, but personally hope we're getting near the day where we have world wide same date/time releases on digital.  
  • WonderedObjectWonderedObject SAN Francisco, CA
    Premium > cable. I'm just kidding. Both have their perks. But I just love no commercials.
    I had never watched "premium" channel shows before so I was like @A_Ron_Hubbard when I heard the HBO slogan, "it's not tv, it's HBO". Just scoffed at that. But now man, now I know.

    Time zone issues aren't much of an issue if you have direct tv. Worth getting them for the time zones alone.
    Elisa
  • Interesting.... In the UK we have freeview which although free does have quite a few channels. Then you have sky, BT, virgin and talk talk. I'm not 100% sure what the deal is with talk talk but they each have exclusive channels
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    The only time it seems to be an actual issue, other than the waiting, is when a company like AMC forgets about their west coast audience and comments on Facebook about the major death that JUST finished airing on the east coast. And tons of people on the west coast are pissed because their own show just spoiled the episode. Makes me laugh everytime.
    GeorgeElisa
  • The only time it seems to be an actual issue, other than the waiting, is when a company like AMC forgets about their west coast audience and comments on Facebook about the major death that JUST finished airing on the east coast. And tons of people on the west coast are pissed because their own show just spoiled the episode. Makes me laugh everytime.

    Lol that's pretty stupid
  • @hypergenesb mostly described it, but I'll go a bit further into detail.

    There's basically three 'tiers' of accessing television content in the US. 

    The first, and oldest/original, is over the air (aka OTA) broadcasting. These are networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, PBS, and a few others. The US government freely (and idiotically) gave broadcast companies the rights to their respective airwaves, and the only thing they required in exchange was a nightly news program. And they were too stupid/shortsighted to require even just this 30 minute program to be advertisement free. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guarantees unobstructed airwaves across the country for these broadcasts (so that you can't jam/hijack the signal/etc) just as they do now for wireless cell carriers, etc. The caveat to this is that they also police the content on these broadcasted networks, because anyone with a TV and rabbit ears can be access whatever is on it. 

    Then in the early '80s (/very late '70s? I want to say like 1980/81 though) cable television came about. This was delivered through a literal cable that an infrastructure had to be built for, so you have to pay money to gain access to these extra networks. The United States is quite a large country geographically, though, so it took a long time for this infrastructure to be built up around the country, and there are still very many parts of it that cannot get it even today (which satellite television filled the gap on in the '90s). These cable networks provided the same OTA networks over a better quality cable connection, but also a myriad of other new networks (probably most notably MTV when cable was new). None of these networks that were only available by paying into a cable subscription are regulated by the FCC because they are not freely available over the air. The cable subscription fees are nominal though, the actual money still came from advertisement.

    Enter HBO/"premium" cable. These are channels that you are paying for on top of your current ("basic") cable subscription. Where you may be paying $40/month for 60 basic cable channels or whatever, you'll pay an additional $15/month just for HBO (and later HBO 2/etc). But this also means the premium networks are funded by subscriptions, not advertisement, so their shows do not have commercials. This also means they are not beholden to Proctor and Gamble or State Farm or Toyota to withhold showing content they would balk at and not spend advertising dollars around, which is why these premium networks have always shown uncensored movies and created television shows with cursing/nudity/etc. when no other network would. 
    ElisaiMatty94DaveyMacHollyoakMelonusk
  • TheEconomistTheEconomist Chattanooga, TN
    edited August 2016
    People frequently complain about an East Coast bias in television. But as around half of people in the US live in that time zone it's understandable.

    Certain satellite television providers used to offer an East and West coast feed for certain channels and you could watch either.

    The only "free" tv in US are from broadcast networks over the airwaves that you literally pick up with an antenna unless you pay for cable. These are NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW. Bc the airwave bandwidth is granted by the government for free it faces censorship. This is commonly referred to as "network" tv as opposed to "cable" in general industry parlance.

    The other difference in basic cable is that it's supported by advertisers so there's commercials throughout. Idk if you've ever noticed awkward breaks in US programming that's why. Bc there are advertisers typically there more restrictions on content like language and nudity as to not associate brands with objectionable content, although Americans love violence so there's rarely a limit to what's seen there.

    Premium cable is supported by a separate subscription fee and has no commercials. These face no restrictions on content.

    Eastern Time Zone is GMT -5
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited August 2016

    The only time it seems to be an actual issue, other than the waiting, is when a company like AMC forgets about their west coast audience and comments on Facebook about the major death that JUST finished airing on the east coast. And tons of people on the west coast are pissed because their own show just spoiled the episode. Makes me laugh everytime.

    That's why Mountain time zone is the best; for channels like HBO and AMC shows air at 7pm, so at the same time it is airing on the east coast! 

    (except FX ... we get their West coast feed for some reason so new FX episodes don't air until 11pm MT)
    Murderbear
  • TheEconomistTheEconomist Chattanooga, TN
    @MrX Is that a general practice in Mountain time zone or specific to your content provider? And when is broadcast network tv aired? Curious myself.
  • AshleyAshley Atlanta, GA
    I think most cable companies have east and west coast feeds now, don't they? Whenever I visit my friends in LA/Seattle, we can watch plenty of stuff on East Coast time, including AMC.
  • HollyoakHollyoak Baltimore
    Very well put, ghms. I say, very well put.


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