Broadcast television flow scheduling and the viewers’ zapping: conflicting practices

Eduardo Cintra Torres


Broadcast television and its audiences live a paradoxical situation: on the one hand, channels still schedule according to the concept of flow; on the other hand, viewers’ zapping counters it. This paper wishes to ascertain the audiences’ practices regarding their fidelity to flow. The research tries to answer these questions: how many viewers watch the same channel during a long consecutive period? How many viewers watch a complete programme? Are there significant differences in zapping versus flow faithfulness according to sex, age, socio-demographic class and cable TV access? Is “companionship television” still a viewers’ consume practice? The research verifies the effectiveness of flow scheduling, which, while being an ideology and a scheduling and self-promotion practice, is not a practice of most viewers. The results show that flow faithfulness flow is a minority behaviour mainly of older people, women, lower classes and viewers without occupation.


Scheduling, zapping, ratings, flow, audience, television

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