Arranging the programming according to all the
variables we have discussed so far is known as blocking.
The following is a list of several different types of
. Horizontal blocking
l Vertical blocking
. Free form blocking
Horizontal blocking is arranging your programming
for two or more consecutive days so that repeat
programs form horizontal, or left to right lines (fig. 8-9).
Programming TV2 News Watch weekday evenings at
1830 is an example of horizontal programming.
Vertical blocking is arranging your program
segments for a one-day period in a vertical, or up and
down fashion (fig. 8-10). Scheduling a sports event for
two and a half hours Monday at 1900 is an example of
Free Form Blocking
Free form blocking is a combination of horizontal
and vertical blocking (fig. 8-11). This style of
programming is the one used to make a complete
television schedule. For example, as figure 8-11 shows,
you can horizontally block your newscasts for the same
segment of prime time every evening and vertically
block the rest of your popular programming to fill out
prime time according to audience tastes.
SATNET will occasionally cause disruptions to
your schedule due to breaking news, presidential press
conferences and other similar events. This will mean
shifting some shows from their regularly scheduled slot
to someplace else, but by promoting the change on the
air and rescheduling the show in a similar time slot, there
should be a minimum of negative audience response.
When you prepare your schedule, it is important for
you to remember that it should be balanced. For
example, you should try to simulate stateside prime time
blocking with your schedule. Grouping all the sitcoms
on one night and all the dramas on another would
quickly lead to boredom.
The American audience has been conditioned to
expect television programs to begin on the hour and
half-hour. However, this is one of the most difficult areas
to overcome in NBS detachment television scheduling.
Television programs shipped from AFRTS-BC do not
contain commercials. When AFRTS-BC master control
is not manned, the SATNET feeds are sent with the
commercials included and it is up to the user to remove
them. The net result is that the half-hour show has now
become 26:00 and the hour program is now 56:00. There
are only two choices:
time blocking or off-time
Time blocking is starting your programming on the
hour or the half-hour (fig. 8-11). To do this, you must
depend on filler material. AFRTS-BC does not include
much filler material in its weekly shipment, and most
filler material in station libraries is outdated. There are
always music videos, but be wary of what songs or
pictures you are presenting to your audience. You do not
want a high-power sexual tension video coming on the
air during Scoobie Doo.
Another option is filling the natural breaks with
spots. This requires a large and frequently updated spot
inventory to reduce audience boredom.
Off-time blocking is scheduling your programs
back to back with programs starting at odd times, as
shown in figure 8-12. This type of blocking is often used
by NBS detachments. It makes the job easier because
you are not trying to find fillers to match the amount of
time you need to fill, as you would if you were time
blocking. One drawback is that it makes meeting live
satellite programs more difficult. These programs
usually begin on the hour or half hour. This is also a
problem you will encounter with your evening
newscast. If there is to be one constant in your schedule,
it should be the start time of your main newscast. That
will require fillers at various points during the day to
make sure your newscast starts at the right time.
Another important note about off-time blocking
is that publicizing the program schedule is a must;
otherwise your audience will have only an
approximation of the time their favorite programs