The Study of TV Program Quality and Scheduling Strategies


Yu-li Liu, Yean Tsai


The program quality and the scheduling strategy of the three TV stations in Taiwan are often attacked by media critics and communications scholars. These phenomena reflect two issues which need to be explored: the definition of a good program and how to schedule programs.

Through interviews with experts and questionnaires answered by viewers, this research is intended to explain how experts and viewers define “good” programs. It also explores scheduling of cur rent programs, and suggests suitable combinations of programs and appropriate standards for “good” programs.

In this research, current TV programs are classified into news, drama series, variety shows, social education, and children’s programs. The methodologies include literature review, in-depth interviews, phone surveys, and content analysis (of the program schedules).

From this research, we find that there are three characteristics of a good program: the diversity of themes and content, appropriateness for the audience, and professionalism of the poduction. Nevertheless, different types of programs have different standards; therefore, we suggest varying stadards for the five different types of programs. As for scheduling, TV stations arrange their programs by considering ratings, commercial time, audience viewing hours, and the schedules of other stations. By analyzing the special characteristics of different program types, we also suggest five modes for scheduling.

After consulting experts and viewers, we suggest that scheduling must consider audience viewing habits, choices of schedules, balance, and protecting younger viewers, in order to meet audience needs. Also in consideration of audience interest, we include in this paper suggestions for program scheduling, with the hope of making TV more convenient for the viewers.