Why you should boycott the greedy ****s at Comedy Central

posted at 1:46 pm on August 16, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

If you’re one of the people who tune in to Comedy Central on a regular basis, you’ve noticed something going on for a long time now which should rightly have you annoyed. You may think this is yet another screed against their regular skewering of conservatives far more often than liberals, but it’s not. The network has been starting shows on an increasingly bizarre, non-half hour schedule where their afternoon and prime time schedule kicks off. While this is not a new evil in broadcast greed, Comedy Central has taken the practice to new heights.

Your immediate assumption may have been because it’s simple greed, both for advertising revenue and viewer share in the ratings. And you’d be right… but there’s more to the story than that. This phenomenon was noted by media analysts more than a decade ago. And one of the chief reasons was to slosh around those advertising dollars.

Inveterate time-shifters — including owners of digital video recorders such as TiVo, as well as some VCR owners — are getting ticked off by the minutes lost when broadcasters shift their schedules so some shows start and end just slightly off the hour or half-hour…

But the motive is nothing so sinister. The networks are simply capitalizing on hit shows by moving a minute or two of ad or promo time from a lower-rated show into a more popular one that precedes it. They can then charge more for the ad and reach more viewers with a plug for another show.

Is Comedy Central doing some of that now? Yes. And the result is the usual, unwarranted annoyance of either missing part of the show on their network you wanted to watch or having to tune out early from the end of another show you like. And if you happen to use more antiquated methods of recording shows, you’ll miss out on it as well. They are also trying to capitalize on the idea that by getting you to miss a portion of a show on another network, they will steal away a rating point or two which they didn’t earn.

But Comedy Central has taken the practice to a new extreme, vastly greedier than the two or four minute “shifts” which networks used in the past to pad a popular show with a couple of extra ads. Take a look at the full daily schedule for Comedy Central. They aren’t just “stuffing” a few extra minutes into a popular show and taking them from another. This is something entirely new.

In the mornings they begin shuffling the start times around and stuffing more advertisements into their highest rated shows, but they splice in a number of shorter “Comedy Central Presents” clips (which run less than half an hour) to mix things up. They begin at 9:00 AM eastern and run Entourage, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for 33 minutes each, and then stuff in a short stand-up bit for 21 minutes to reset the clock to 11:00. They continue this until they almost hit the top of the hour for the late afternoon / evening shift at 5:01.

A that point they being a series of what are supposed to be 1/2 hour shows, beginning with Futurama. Check out the math here:

5:01 Futurama
5:34 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
6:05 Tosh.0
6:39 The Colbert Report
7:14 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
7:48 South Park
8:21 South Park
8:54 Futurama
9:27 Futurama
10:00 Futurama
10:30 South Park
11:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Notice what happened there? Not only do they run the shows at off times, packing ads into some of them like The Daily Show to balloon them up to *44 minutes 34 minutes long but they never give the time back to another show. The end result – if you add up all the shows above – is that they run eleven “half hour shows” in the six hours between 5:00 and 11:00. Put another way, they have stuffed a full, extra 1/2 hour show worth of commercials into a six hour period where they should have shown twelve. All the while messing up people’s plans to watch any given shows, messing up the ratings system and cashing in on more ads for the few shows they have which actually draw a reasonable audience. And they “miraculously” get back to an even hour starting time just in time for their flagship show at 11:00.

Now I know what many of you are thinking. “Oh, Jazz… how quaint! You still watch shows at the times they actually play? When will you come into the 21st century, you old fart? Well, I won’t. I’m an old man. (And yes… you are hereby invited to come mow my lawn and then get the hell off of it.) I don’t watch that much TV and don’t care to invest in some 24/7 “record everything” system. My wife and I generally pick a few shows we might like to see and we’d like them to start on time.

So I’m now only watching a couple of Comedy Central shows on the computer whenever I feel like it. (Yes, they run ads, but the network gets a LOT less money for those advertisements.) We shouldn’t have to put up with this. It’s beyond annoying and they should be called out for it.

Rant. Over. Jazz. Out.

*EDIT: (Jazz) Yes, it’s 34 minutes, not 44. What can I say? Math is hard. But the total added commercial weight still comes out to 11 “half hour” shows in six hours.


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Am I wrong or unless you have a Nielsen Box attached to your TV, a boycott wouldn’t mean a thing?

120pages on August 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’m not sure if the Nielsen’s measure cable ratings. But if they do, you’re right.

Bitter Clinger on August 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Those are almost all repeats of shows from other stations that are now in syndication. So what?

As someone above stated – its their channel, let them run it how they want. The market will either reward or punish them. I don’t see how your rant against their “greed” for trying to maximize profits is at all remotely conservative? You are claiming they are doing something the market will not like. OK, then they will not earn the profit and will have to adjust accordingly. But your entire rant is focused on the premise that comedy central owes you some specific thing – like starting shows on a specific schedule or something. What – you want the gov’t to regulate when shows have to start and end?

It always gets me when conservatives get upset about something and lose site of conservative principals altogether. “I don’t like the way comedy central is programming, ergo – they are evil and greedy and someone should require them to program the way I want them to” – that is the liberal mindset to a tee!!

HotAir should be ashamed of this post. It could be on KOS without anyone batting an eye.

What next – should we regulate exactly what the shows say?

On a side note, Comedy Central is like MTv – it has absolutely nothing to do with its purported mission. As MTv no longer has anything to do with music, Comedy Central no longer has anything to do with comedy. Yeah, they show some “comedic” television shows, but I liked it back when they had actual comedians. they would show clips of stand up and/or whole stand-up shows. Now, it’s just a place of syndicated shows to go and die. But, that’s their business model. Good for them if it works for them. I don’t want the gov’t to step in and change it and don’t seek to arrange a boycott of it to suit my preferences. I simply go elsewhere for my entertainment needs.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

My wife and I generally pick a few shows we might like to see and we’d like them to start on time.

Hey Jazz, who died and made you king to decide when “on time” is for Comedy Central?

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Say, I’ve also heard some blogs are going to Facebook format to increase revenue. Anyone else heard anything about this?:)

a capella on August 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Who still watches Comedy Central?

myiq2xu on August 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

What’s Comedy Central?

hadsil on August 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Am I wrong or unless you have a Nielsen Box attached to your TV, a boycott wouldn’t mean a thing?

120pages on August 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

That may be. Regardless my boycott of comedy central started a long time ago when they stopped being funny. Right now it is almost like it used to be in the old days, I have about 3 or 4 channels that I will check to see if anything is good on.

We were interviewed and filled out watching habit questionaires for Nielson and I was really hoping we’d get picked, but we didn’t.

earlgrey133 on August 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

On the other hand, on ION Television last weekend they showed a Psych marathon and each program was scheduled for less than an hour each (which skewed the start and end times) and there were very few commercials so probably 7 episodes were shown in a 6 hour period. I don’t know why, but I enjoyed it anyway.

HawaiiLwyr on August 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I bolded the important part for you.

Yes, I do watch TV, go to the movies, etc. I just don’t GIVE MONEY to those that come out and call me a racist or denigrate what I believe in. I don’t believe in funding it.

Yes, I am well aware of Hollywood and the like being liberals. That’s fine as long as they don’t blatantly insult me. Even if they support someone I cannot, that’s fine too. It’s a free country, right?

For instance, HBO and Sean Penn will never see another dime from me. There are a number of people that I will not pay to watch or buy their product. I mainly watch sports anyways, but there are “places” one can get things and Netflix is really all we need.

There really is something to be said about the “old Hollywood” way in which the studio heads kept a tight rein on everything – it didn’t turn off 50% of the customer base.

kim roy on August 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Unless you receive all your TV from an over-the-air antenna and never purchase a movie ticket, CD, or music download, you are funding those people. Cable and satellite television pay a hefty chunk of the subscriber fees back to the networks they carry. Whether you have a direct line item on your bill that says “Comedy Central” or not, you are paying money to those channels if you have a cable or satellite package that includes them.

And of course movie tickets, music downloads, and CD’s are even more direct streams of money.

And, trust me, the majority of people making the programming you watch are sitting around on a daily basis insulting people like you and I.

Shump on August 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

directv dvrs have a built in padding for this, as long as both tuners are not tied up its usually not an issue.
have enough dvrs and free tuners (10 tuners here) are never an issue.

dmacleo on August 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

On Comedy Central, even show timeslots are a joke!

BKennedy on August 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I have never watched Comedy Central so it would be difficult for me to boycott it.

NoDonkey on August 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I don’t have a problem with Comedy Central. Maybe that’s because I don’t watch it.

GarandFan on August 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I’m glad someone finally got to the bottom of this.

Akzed on August 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

But if you want to block out all entertainment produced by people who are leftists and think we’re all racist wingnuts, you just have to block out all entertainment.

Shump on August 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Or listen to country.

cptacek on August 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I quit watching CC quite awhile ago. But for other reasons. I like watching movies in their original form. Not the cut up and spliced things that CC presents.

The skewed times thing? I don’t care, I don’t watch it.

TerryW on August 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Yes, off hour starts are annoying. But this rant was really… well… strange. For a capitalist-loving site to complain about advertisements?? For a site that touts freedom to say that a cable cannel shouldn’t be allowed to program the way it wants to?? I just don’t get it.

Warner Todd Huston on August 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Was this supposed to be a serious post?

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Two points to two different audiences:

1) I’m not sure a blog site that regularly reloads the page and loses my place while I’m reading is the best place for this rant.

2) Yes, as other posters have mentioned, the market should take care of this. Jazz complaining about it and taking specific action to show his displeasure is part of that market.

sockpuppetpolitic on August 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Quit Comedy Central a long time ago.

About the time they they advocated for Obama.

That was it.

so-notbuyingit on August 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Annoying your customers is a good business model for restaurants and boutiques. Perhaps Comedy Central considers themselves akin to a fine dining experience.

What’s cable TV? Something to be replaced by streaming or other healthier activities.

Go cold turkey, Jazz. You won’t miss it. I haven’t seen Comedy Central in years. Some very good years.

tuffy on August 16, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Assuming this blog post is serious, Jazz again shows how quick he is to embrace leftism.

There is no such thing as greed.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Jazz complaining about it and taking specific action to show his displeasure is part of that market.

sockpuppetpolitic on August 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Sure. And us pointing out how idiotic his rant is and how un-conservative calling a company “greedy” just b/c he doesn’t like something they do is part of the market as well. Just b/c it is “part of the market” doesn’t make his rant any less idiotic.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Since no rational, sane, intelligent, non-adolescent ever watches the leftist clowns on CC, there is really no need for them to boycott it. Maybe jazz shaw should think long and hard about why HE watches that socialist crapolo.

TeaPartyNation on August 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

There is no such thing as greed.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Now that’s not true. I agree that a company pursuing a legitimate business plan to increase profits is not “greed” – even if you dislike the business plan.

but there is such a thing as greed. Putting acquiring wealth over morals, ethics, etc. would constitute greed. If you, for instance, kill someone simply to try and increase your own wealth, that would be greed (as well, of course, as murder).

Comedy Central starting shows at odd times in an effort to maximize profits (a plan that I’m guessing will ultimately back-fire) – not greed.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I love how people who claim they never watch Comedy Central consider themselves experts on the “leftist crap” that Comedy Central broadcasts. South Park pushes a libertarian agenda, and The Daily Show makes fun of every side of politics. I don’t ever watch Colbert, so I can’t comment on what political agenda his show may or may not have.

CoffeeMan on August 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

No disagreement (my point #1 speaks to that a bit, though more to point out the hypocritical nature of said rant than the merits of it). I was addressing the fact that some posters are telling him to just let the market take care of it, as if his actions (and subsequent encouraging of others to follow his lead) is somehow not part of that market action.

sockpuppetpolitic on August 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM

CC can advertise what they want, when they want. I’ll never see the ads. #NotaFan

Mekei on August 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Now that’s not true. I agree that a company pursuing a legitimate business plan to increase profits is not “greed” – even if you dislike the business plan.

but there is such a thing as greed. Putting acquiring wealth over morals, ethics, etc. would constitute greed. If you, for instance, kill someone simply to try and increase your own wealth, that would be greed (as well, of course, as murder).

Comedy Central starting shows at odd times in an effort to maximize profits (a plan that I’m guessing will ultimately back-fire) – not greed.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

It is absolutely true. There is no such thing as greed.

Define it.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Obama et al have recklessly mortgaged my 16 year old son’s future; the Iranians are threatening to irradiate the whole of the middle east; I am paying $4 a gallon for gas, half of which is going back to the middle east to fund jihad; functional unemployment is probably around, or likely over, 17%; etc., etc., etc.; and you’re kvetching about libtards maliciously manipulating your evening TV viewing scheduled? Seriously, old man, get a grip, cut back on the Starbucks double cappuccinos and cowboy up. It’s called the free market, remember? Screw the custome long and hard enough and they will walk away on their own. Kinda like the way Romney and Ryan have been able to rub some of the shine off the polished turd these past few days.

BlueStateExpat on August 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

There is no such thing as greed.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Sure there is. Perhaps we misuse the word and apply it to situations that it should not be applied to, but to say there is no such thing as greed is simply wrong.

cptacek on August 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

There is no such thing as greed.

Define it.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I believe I gave you examples of greed. If you can’t understand it, that’s on you. If you honestly believe there is no such thing as greed, good for you. You belong to a very select club of people who think it is perfectly acceptable to put acquiring material things above, say, family, or responsibility, or common decency. But enjoy that.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

If you don’t like the way they do things then don’t watch. They have the right to run the network as they see fit.

And what are you doing putting this on HotAir? A personal rant like this is more fitted to a personal blog. Don’t abuse the podium HotAir has given you.

Radioactive Crow on August 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I believe I gave you examples of greed. If you can’t understand it, that’s on you. If you honestly believe there is no such thing as greed, good for you. You belong to a very select club of people who think it is perfectly acceptable to put acquiring material things above, say, family, or responsibility, or common decency. But enjoy that.

Monkeytoe on August 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I didn’t ask you for examples, which I strongly disagree with, I’m asking you to define it.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Sure there is. Perhaps we misuse the word and apply it to situations that it should not be applied to, but to say there is no such thing as greed is simply wrong.

cptacek on August 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Define it. There is no such thing.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Oh, and using “****s” in the headline, much less at all, is childish and stupid. And it tarnishes the image of HotAir. I swear to God, if you ruin this blog I will find you. HotAir is the only thing that keeps me sane.

Radioactive Crow on August 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Define it. There is no such thing.

Dante on August 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

No. Not interested in fighting over the definition of a word with you.

cptacek on August 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I stopped watching Comedy Central eons ago, when they started trying to hawk the notion that Stephen Colbert was actually funny.

Irritating? Yes.

Annoying? Yes

Funny? The 100 Years War was a virtual laugh riot compared to the likes of Colbert.

pilamaye on August 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

USA Network is doing something similar with their ‘fictional’ show about the Clintons called Political Animals. It starts at 10pm, and ends at 11:06pm. It’s not a bad show.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I stopped watching Comedy Central eons ago, when they started trying to hawk the notion that Stephen Colbert was actually funny.

Irritating? Yes.

Annoying? Yes

Funny? The 100 Years War was a virtual laugh riot compared to the likes of Colbert.

pilamaye on August 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

His career peaked as Mr. Goodwrench.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Anyone who has the time to analyze the CC schedule down to the minute has too much time on their hands. This post is as pathetic as those protesting Chick Fil A. And I don’t even watch the Comedy Channel.

xblade on August 16, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Thanks Jazz for watching those shows for us who are TV impaired (no TV). When I do get a chance to watch (at a bar or friends house), I am amazed by the amount of commercials folks are willing to put up with. I don’t. Period.

KenInIL on August 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I thought this thread was going to be about how Jon Stewart trashed Conservatives in general and Sarah Palin in particular last night. But, um, Fight the Power, Jazz Shaw!

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on August 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

It’s still somewhat a free country and Comedy Central can do whatever the hell they want. It’s also 2012 and there is this little box you can get now, called a DVR, it been around a while and it can make 6 or 7 minutes of commercials flash by in 4 seconds, it does not care what time the shows start, it just finds them and records and you can record two shows at a time. It can download movies and videos from the Internet. You can pause it for up to two hours and it will record over 200 hours of HD programing.

Wallythedog on August 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I don’t watch that much TV and don’t care to invest in some 24/7 “record everything” system

You might want to edit that out. The “record everything” system is about as prevelant as flat screen tvs. LOL. Do you not want to invest in some “flat screen HD television” as well?

ModerateMan on August 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Am I wrong or unless you have a Nielsen Box attached to your TV, a boycott wouldn’t mean a thing?

120pages on August 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’m not sure if the Nielsen’s measure cable ratings. But if they do, you’re right.

Bitter Clinger on August 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Nielsen definitely measures cable ratings. They have to represent everyone to some extent.

And 120 is correct. Unless you have a Nielsen box attached to your TV, you’re not contributing to the ratings even one little bit. So, if you want to boycott, meet someone who’s in the Nielsen ratings or say yes if a recruiter ever comes to your door.

They’re about to double their sample sizes in some markets, so you might have better odds now.

Esthier on August 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Nielsen definitely measures cable ratings. They have to represent everyone to some extent.

Esthier on August 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Let me amend that. I thought Bitter meant cable boxes, not cable channels.

Nielsen only provides ratings for channels that pay for it. There are many channels that don’t care what their ratings are (PBS for one), though Comedy Central is not one of them.

Esthier on August 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

You could get more laughs from a random cartoon on Nickelodeon than Comedy Central, and that’s saying something. Plus you wouldn’t have foul language being thrown around all over.

MelonCollie on August 16, 2012 at 9:42 PM

The more I hear about tv channels and cable lately, the happier I am to have cut that off.

kc-anathema on August 16, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Rarely watch television shows, mostly movies.
When I do watch television shows its mostly on my Mac from stuff I’ve downloaded. Finally had time to finish “Top Gear Specials Vol. 2″.
So what is this “Comedy Central” that you speak of?

OT: For you “Red Dwarf” fans a trailer for season X is out!

Bubba Redneck on August 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM

OT: For you “Red Dwarf” fans a trailer for season X is out!

Bubba Redneck on August 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Ooooh, SWEET!

TY for the tipoff Bubba!

The Boys From the Dwarf Ride Again!

BlaxPac on August 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Really? Seriously? I kept waiting for a punchline at the end of what I thought must surely be a joke, and not a genuine Hot Air blog post…and the realization that I was wrong was rather depressing.

Why is this on HotAir?

EricW on August 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I was wondering the same thing. I didn’t exactly have high expectations when I clicked this link, and yet I was still sorely disappointed.

You’re boycotting CC over this? Not over the pathetic and shameful spectacle wherein CC censored all usage of the name “Muhammed” from an episode of South Park, including the entire speech at the end decrying appeasement of those who threaten others with violence?

Wow. Guess we see where the real priorities are.

MadisonConservative on August 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Word.

Cylor on August 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

My kids (young adults) are in their 20s.

Neither they, nor a multitude of their friends watches anything on TV anymore.

Digital delivery means freedom to make your own schedule, but it will also mean less competition, and less ways of opting out of advertising unless you pay a premium or pirate everything through back door web sites.

Get used to it Jazz. The media will own the delivery system and you will be dictated to just like the rest of us.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on May 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Comment pages: 1 2