Every network TV promo I’ve ever seen included the Eastern and Central time zones. Like, “Tomorrow on NBC at 9, 8 Central.” The 9 of course stands for the Eastern and Pacific time zones. The East Coast and West Coast have separate network feeds, so when it’s 9 pm Eastern time, the people on the West Coast will have to wait three hours to watch the same show. That’s fine and dandy and I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that people living in the Central time zone watch the show off the East Coast feed, which is of course one hour earlier on their clocks. What I don’t like is the way the networks handle the Mountain time zone. Yes, there are people living in that great expanse called “The West.” Sure, we may make up the least populated time zone, but that doesn’t mean they can forget about us. And to make it better sometimes we get the Eastern network feeds and some time we get the Western network feeds, so when the announcer says, “Thursday at 9, 8 Central on NBC.” What he should really say is, “Thursday at 9, 8 Central, 7 or 10 Mountain depending on your local cable or satellite provider.” And I’ll bet the satellite folks could get either.
By the way, you probably already knew this, but big awards shows like the Oscars are done live—for the East Coast. So if they’re set to air at 7 pm then they started at 4 pm local (Los Angeles). They’re taped and then rebroadcast three hours later for their Pacific—home—audience. So if you live in L.A. and have friends in NYC, turn off your phone and don’t check your email if you want to experience the Oscars “live.” That is, if you don’t have access to the East Coast feed.