Digital channels recycling too many episodes?

Lately a number of readers have been asking questions about the cycle of series on digital channels.

One reader asks, “ELEVEN has gone back to Series 1 with Everybody Loves Raymond among other programs, what’s going on? Why are they doing this?”

Another asks, “Why would Ch10 would start replaying JAG (on Ch11) from the beginning of the series again recently when they were into season three and suddenly just started from the first episode again. I know it’s an old show but I assume they have the rights to all ten series and cannot understand why they would start again so soon into the replays?”

And: “I have been watching the tv station GO! every afternoon for the last couple of weeks now and i find you have the same shows of Batman on every 2 weeks it is like some one has not changed the dvd over so you get the next lot of episode. I like Ben 10, and the show Just Shoot Me but i am going mad with Batman if you could fix it please.”

In some instances there were only limited episodes produced of shows in their original run. The Jetsons for example only produced 24 episodes from 1962-63.

Many digital channels are operating on a model similar to Pay TV of block programming, showing an episode in the morning and replaying again later in the day or overnight.

But as some channels are approaching their second year on air, the issue of building a channel on a limited stockpile of series is now beginning to bite with viewers.

So let’s hear it. Which shows are too limited in their runs on digital channels?

78 Comments:

  1. My frustration is with the main stream channels particularly Channel 9 which seems to recycle the same episodes of Big Bang , Two and a half men etc over and over again. Channel 9 should change their logo to a a recycle symbol with 9 dots in it- the constant recycling may be good for people who have dementia – but what about the general public??? At least the other digital channels gives us more options…

  2. I understand that it is free tv, but I don’t understand why GO! won’t air the Michael J. Fox (1-4) seasons of Spin City, but cycle the Charlie Sheen seasons (1-5) on repeat over and over again! It would be nice to see the Full series!

  3. Yes, this annoys me no end as well. I have also been watching Roseannd since 11 debuted this year, having never wanted to watch it originally when it was on. I wanted to watch it now to see all I could of Glenn Quinn (Mark) since I was a massive fan of his on Angel and he has of course tragically since passed away. (It’s also been good to see Johnny Galecki – David – seeing as I’m a fan of his on The Big Bang Theory)
    I have also been DVR-ing all of Family Ties and Happy Days (Which I watched originally) as well as Touched By An Angel and Diagnosis Murder (Which I watched only a few episodes of back in the day). All of these are now repeating the repeats and it’s p*ssing me off! I’m sure we won’t get any warning when we get back to where we were on these series, and it’s hard to know exactly where I’m up to when I’m not watching these shows at the moment through lack of time, (seeing as though there’s too many new shows I watch) but recording them for later on when I get enough spare time to actually watch them all. The only reason I noticed Diagnosis Murder was repeating was ‘cos Scott Baio was gone and a new Dr was there instead, then he was back again. And in Happy Days Joanie got younger.
    Anyway, I’m with everyone else – play them all from start to finish and then play other series’.
    BTW I’m pretty sure Roseanne only started at Season 3 since that’s what people are saying they’re repeating now and those eps are the 1st ones they played. Also, when they did a flashback episode showing DJ as a screwed up adult the flashbacks showed him younger than I’d ever seen him.

  4. Why the Baywatch been cancel. I want to see Baywatch: Buried season 7. Because Baywatch season 5 then stopped before season 6 been cancel. I want to know why Baywatch been cancel on 7mate? I am very upset. Bring Baywatch back for before season 6 then all seasons and plus Baywatch Nights series too. Baywatch is not finished! 7mate, what wrong with u?

  5. Glad to see it wasn’t just me frustrated by all the repeating.
    I got the hump when they just pulled “All my Children” from 72 with no warning.
    Also fed up with all the late night infomercials being put on the digital stations as well as the parent channels.

  6. Re: The Sopranos the season 6 episodes play once a week, Thursday nights around 11:30pm. This is the same cycle that started on 72 last year. And for the past month 7mate have been playing the series from the start, after midnight most nights, 2-3 episodes at a time. A silly thing to do, but that’s the pattern if you are following the cycles.

  7. Secret Squïrrel

    @Charlie – Deadwood and Breaking Bad are both excellent drama series but I doubt that they would’ve done well on any of the commercials – look at how Nine treated The West Wing and The Wire. Anything that’s a little different in subject matter or style, or that requires a little bit of attention and investment with a story that lasts more than 2 eps simply doesn’t appeal to the majority of commercial TV watchers, is subsequently treated badly by the network and consequently sheds more viewers.

    @Denis – playing eps of something like The Sopranos out of sequence is both bizarre and pointless as it’s going to annoy fans enjoying a second look and put off anyone trying to get into it for the first time. The only reason I can think of that they might choose to do this is that they’re picking out the eps that rated the highest last time, something Nine have a habit of doing as they slowly strangle the life out of a previously popular show, but which Seven also often do with fillers on their digital channels.

  8. @jshaw, it’s why Foxtel are a monopoly – they pay a higher premium to retain exclusitivity for the better content/channels, and then they are in bed with their partners to hold on to the highest rating content on their service – sports. So people have to pay a huge price for the 25% that is good but also for the 75% of junk and repeats. Going off Pay TV ratings breakdown, I doubt many are subscribing for the old junk. But if you want sports and the other few good things, what can you do?

  9. Foxtel are well known to repeat episodes over & over but people pay for the service. ELEVEN is showing new episodes of “The Office” but they are from two seasons ago. (about 14months behind) In the US they have shown the Steve Carell final. Wish ELEVEN would have a “Office” marathon to fast track to the 2011 season

  10. It might work if they actually advertised that they were going back to the start. If I had known they were going to start sabrina again I probably would have decided to watch it, but the only ones who know or notice are the people who are already watching religiously. So it is a waste of time attempt to make these people watch what they have just seen again as they wait for the new stuff to come back.

  11. This is what many of the “general entertainment” channels on pay TV have been doing for the last 15 years. Part of the problem, IMO, is that these channels have gone for what is essentially the same old shows that have been flogged to death. From the US there’s 60 years worth of TV to draw on. From the UK there’s 40 years of TV to draw on. From Australia there’s almost 50 years of TV to draw on. So where is it?

    Channel 11 has made the mistake of almost exclusively sourcing shows from CBS. The channels have sourced stuff from the usual suspects (Universal, Sony, etc) but there must be more that they can source from these companies. 7TWO, having sourced plenty from ITV, is doing a fantastic job of not flogging the same shows to death. The trouble is, of course, that it all costs money. Money that either the channels don’t have or they don’t want to spend. Meanwhile, ABC has picked up “Deadwood”, “Breaking Bad”, “The Tudors”, for their first free-to-air runs – fantastic shows which would have been absolute killer in the ratings if a commercial channel had picked them up (because, you know, nobody watches the ABC except me)

    I could say more but there’s no point – I doubt any of the station managers are listening

  12. There are numerous examples here of the complete comtempt to which these networks hold us.
    Think about this for one moment,every one here has expressed the annoyance they have for being jumped all over the shop from series to the next.
    This is not such a problem with series such as Seinfeld as each eppisode pretty much looks after it self and continuity is only sometimes a problem.
    The other night I watched Two epps, of The Sopranos which of course is heavily series based 7mate played season 6 epp 15 followed by Season 4 Epp.11 this is bizaare to say the least and reaffirmed that there are only two reasons this should and could happen.
    1. They are so far out of touch they think we do not notice.

    2. They really don’t realise what they are doin in which case refer to #1

  13. I think this article is for Channel 11. I mean its only been on air a couple of months and shows like 7th Heaven, Roseanne, Family Ties all go back to the beginning????

  14. Why are they doing this, don’t they (for example Ten/Eleven) want viewers late at night??? Or are they just worried about 6 to 8pm weekdays? Why?
    Especially with Craig Ferguson’s show, where new episodes are being made… every Weekday .

  15. how will i luv lucy fans survive?
    You’re all happy living in some time warp and getting therefore what you asked for ….. Old crap on constant repeat. Thankfully you have the sense not to be paying 60 dollars a month for the same

  16. The Sopranos! I’ve never seen it before and watching it on 7mate (I think, it’s definitely one of the 7 digitals), I’m finding it very confusing to keep up. The main reason that I know it’s jumping around is from the hairstyle of the lead actress (Tony’s wife). One day she has a short hair cut and the next day it’s shoulder length again. I’m completely lost with the plot.

  17. Well I think a lot of it might be to do with replay rights between Foxtel and FTA networks since they all show the same shows??.

    @stevieg, I don’t think it has any correlation with DVD releases, as this is all syndication and I don’t think DVD releases has any effect on syndicated runs. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong tho please.
    It could once again be a war with replay rights, as I’m pretty sure they do pick bunches of episodes at a time, not an outright series?

  18. I feel repeats begin with analog tv. The SImpsons at one stage had seasons 2-5, on TEN at 6pm. They had only these seasons, then they kicked in and got more eps out. By the middle of last year we were getting seasons 15-20 and now we seem to be getting 20 then 19 now 18 and so on!

    Why do we need to be screwed up in the head. Can’t we just get a series played out from 1st to last episode. However if a series like The Jetsons, is one where the network might reconsider playing it. Only 24 eps means a lot of “Jetson”!

    I did find it strangely odd that Everybody Loves Raymond ended in the middle of the “Marie and Debra” fude. Last ep was Robert taking pills, Marie throwing away bolongese sauce and Ray trying to get his “Bed Time” contact fourfilled. I’ve seen every ep and we will miss Robert and Amy get married, the Barrone’s meet Amys’ inlaws, Ally get a boyfriend, Ray, Frank and Gianni fight over a new stove! It’s beyond me! I don’t want to hear Frank smelling the fountain of youth forever!

    As for The Nanny. Similar deal. I saw a bit of the, middle seasons and then saw the end. This pattern went on for bit until… It was on at 3:30pm GO! and had Raymond as a competion, then went back to episode 1 and played out to the end. Now when Fran moves channels, she gets us to a point in the show and then back to square one!

    To sum up, I’m on the TEN Forums, thanks to MasterChef and I know one of the forum users looks like a TEN insider! I’ll see what he suggests and if anything hope he doesn’t recycle his sentances!

  19. Air Crash Investigations is waaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too limited on 7mate. They only show about the same 14 eps on rotation (out of 67 made). These eps are frustrating, too, as there are a couple from season three and five; and most of season four.
    I’m sure 7 owns most of them as I remember seeing eps from series 1,2 and 6 on 7 in the days before multi-channels.

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