Cricket on Channel Nine always finishes late. Always.

I don’t understand why Nine put times like 8.45pm in their EPG (Sydney market) for the finishing time for the Test Cricket played in Perth when it is a well-known fact that the last over is bowled to finish at 6pm local time on most days. That equates to 9pm in Sydney.

On Thursday last week (Nov 3, 2016) the cricket had an advertised finishing time of 8.45pm in Sydney. It was on air until 9.25pm – which included 25 minutes of highlights and discussion about the days’ play. As a result, all subsequent programming ran late by 45 minutes.

It happened again on the following Friday and Saturday nights.

Then, on Sunday, the EPG and guides suggested the cricket would finish at 8.30pm, with 60 Minutes set to start thereafter. Fortunately on Sunday night the Cricket was over by 5.30 Perth time and 60 Minutes started at 8.33pm in Sydney. A few minutes late we can handle but not the 40-45 minutes on the previous three nights.

In case it happened again where the cricket finished late, and in order to guarantee I would be able to watch 60 Minutes, I put an hour and a half overrun on my recording of it. Also, to make sure I could see another show on Nine I wanted to watch from Sunday night, I just recorded everything on Nine for the rest of the night until 1.30am! Thankfully we were ok for Sunday night.

But with regards to the other nights, why do Nine do this? Looking at other markets, the time is the same in their respective timezone – for example in Brisbane, the finishing time is an hour earlier – but still it is not correct based on a 6pm Perth finishing time followed by highlights.

I often wonder if it is so that overnight ratings show higher figures for the show that airs after the cricket. With the cricket coverage finishing 40-45 minutes later than their EPG time. the figures for the next show include 40-45 minutes of the cricket. In doing so, the overnight ratings appear higher and won’t show as much of a sudden drop or switch off after the cricket.

To me it is gross disregard for viewers. This is not even an unexpected overrun of a live event – it is an incorrect finishing time to start with.

In the US, when football runs late on Sundays on US network CBS, they tweet out new starting times for their Sunday night prime time line up which also includes their 60 Minutes. We get no such information from Nine here in Australia.

Back to Thursday night and I saw commentary from US Survivor fans waiting for Survivor to air – due to air at 10.45pm after a movie – saying they gave up waiting for it – thinking it was not on at all. Alot of these people would have had NO IDEA that it was to air 45 minutes later than advertised due to cricket.

While Nine did the right thing on Sunday night, they did not on the previous three nights – perhaps it is the case that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights they’re not fussed due to those three nights being the lowest rating nights on free to air TV.

Whatever the reason, it’s wrong and it wouldn’t take Nine much to fix the problem – which has been going on for years.


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