Friday, November 30 2012, 11:04 PM MST
Good Question: Why is the Late News on at 10PM in Utah, 11PM Elsewhere?
By Matt Gephardt
K.C. Anderson wrote to me with a Good Question. He wants to know, “Why is the late news in Utah at 10:00pm while the rest of the country is at 11:00pm? Also, why does our "prime time" television begin at 7:00pm while the rest of the country starts at 8:00pm?”
In the bowels of the Wells Fargo Center, below the KUTV studios sits one of the more advanced television control centers in the country.
These "master control" operators as they are called, oversee - not only everything broadcast here on KUTV - but also everything broadcast on several other stations around the country. It is a daunting task to be sure, especially when you consider that not all programs air at the same time at the various stations.
In the Eastern and Pacific Time zones, prime time starts at 8pm and the late newscasts air at 11PM. But in the Central Time zone, and here in the Mountain Time zone, prime time begins at 7pm and the newscasts begins at 10.
The networks have had to adapt, by listing two times in the promotions, for example, “9/8c” which means the program will air at 9PM in the East and West and 8PM in the middle of the country. But, why the difference? It's a good question.
Donovan Reese is the Chief Engineer at KUTV. He says it all has to do with distribution, distribution which starts for all networks in New York City. That content is broadcast live in the Eastern Time zone and live in the Central Time zone. Because Central Time is an hour earlier than the Eastern Time, so too is the broadcast.
But if we here in Utah took that New York feed live, primetime would begin here at 6PM. That was deemed too early so stations in the Mountain Time zone take those live network feeds from New York and tape delay them one hour. Thus, Utah’s broadcast schedule meshes with the Central Time zone.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)