Block programming

Block programming

Block programming or television block is a strategy of broadcast programming and radio programmers. Block programming occurs when the television network schedules similar television programs back-to-back. The concept is to provide similar programming to keep the viewers. Radio stations use it consistently: they program the same type of music for long periods of time. A notable example of block programming was NBC's "Must-See-TV" Thursday evening, which included 2 hours of sitcoms and 1 hour of ER, Channel 4's "T4" program which often ran sitcoms like Friends back-to-back for an hour or more..

Block programming in radio also refers to programming content that appeals to various demographics in time blocks, usually corresponding to the top or bottom of the hour or the quarters. For example various musical genres might be featured; a country music hour; a 3 hour afternoon of jazz or a 4 hour Saturday night 70's disco show.

Generally speaking block programming is anathema to modern competitive commercial radio. It is counter to the brand maxim to "be one thing" and is confusing to listeners. Therefore most music based stations will generally stick with one genre or sub-genre of music. Block programming of this nature is alive and well on outlets like public radio (NPR, BBC, CBC) and in multicultural radio serving broad ethnic and cultural audiences.

Notable television program blocks

Popular television program blocks include:

Some program blocks become so popular, they are later transformed to 24 hour channels. Current channels that were once program blocks include TeenNick and Nick Jr. both of which are former program blocks on Nickelodeon;[1] and Boomerang, which was once a program block on Cartoon Network. Also, TV Land airs older shows that were once aired on sister channel Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite program block. Disney Junior is scheduled to become a full-time channel in January 2012. [2]

See also