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Prime time

Prime time refers to the block of programming on American television during the late evening. In the United States, television networks broadcast their prime time programming in two blocks one for the Eastern half of the United States and one for the Western half of the United States. Prime time broadcasting is therefore viewed between 8:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M. Eastern time and between 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. Central. The Western block of programming is broadcast with a time delay of two hours which results in it being viewed between 8:00 and 11:00 P.M. Mountain and 7:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. Pacific.

Sometimes the hour before the times mentioned is also considered prime time, especially on Sunday.

Prime time is the block of time with the most viewers and is generally where television networks[?] and local stations[?] spend most of their programming budgets and reap much of their advertising revenues. The existence of prime time in the United States is largely an artifact of now repealled regulations of the Federal Communications Commission which limited the number of hours that a network can require its affiliates to broadcast. As a result, networks generally require their affiliates to broadcast expensive network programming at the hours which have the highest viewing audience.

Other blocks of programming include the evening news[?], daytime soap operas[?], and overnight[?], Sunday morning talkshows[?].



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