“Mediaset anticipa l’inizio della programmazione serale: scopri il nuovo orario dei programmi di prime time”

Mediaset has officially announced that it will start its prime time programs earlier. We could call it the “operation eyes open,” thinking of viewers on the couch forced to wait almost until 10pm to watch the evening movie or TV series, which is now better referred to as prime time. It is better to only talk about prime time, which is the time with the highest viewership.

Why are prime time programs a distant memory? The time slot between 8:30pm and 10:30pm is now mostly occupied by programs defined as access prime time. Evening programs have been starting after 9:30pm for years, with a tendency to go as far as 10pm, and often even occupying the time slot that was once considered late evening (from 10:30pm onwards, with shows that often end after 1am).

Experts say that this is due to considerations about the share, which increases in percentage as the overall audience decreases at a certain time. Share is also important for selling advertising space. However, for years, there has been a growing protest on industry blogs and social media from those who struggle to stay awake until late at night, especially on weekdays, to watch prime time programs.

But at the beginning of this season, Mediaset seemed intent on reversing this trend by starting their evening programs around 9:30pm. An article by Paolo Giordano in the ‘Giornale’ confirms this today. “For the past few days, Canale 5 has moved up the starting time of prime time programs. Previously, they started almost at 10pm, but now we are back to the beginning, starting around 9:30pm.”

The article in the ‘Giornale’ highlights that this change was achieved by “cutting Striscia’s duration by 20 minutes or more,” while Rai has kept its schedule unchanged, starting prime time programs even after 9:45pm. In fact, looking at recent schedules, there is some confirmation: on Rai 1, on September 28th, ‘Ulisse’ started at 9:41pm, on September 29th, ‘Tale e quale’ started at 9:39pm with the introduction and at 9:44pm with the actual program, on September 30th, ‘Tutti giocano a Reazione a Catena’ started at 9:36pm, on October 1st, ‘Cuori’ started at 9:35pm, on October 2nd, ‘Imma Tataranni’ started at 9:45pm and ‘Grande Fratello’ at 9:33pm. Yesterday, ‘Morgane Detective Geniale’ started on Rai 1 at 9:54pm (which was preceded by the Tg1 news on the Mestre tragedy, from 9:38pm to 9:51pm), while Canale 5 was showing the Champions League (which doesn’t count as it always starts at 9pm). It should be noted, however, that this is the first autumn where Rai 1 has two access prime time programs: ‘Cinque Minuti’ and ‘Affari tuoi.’

Now, it remains to be seen whether Mediaset’s decision will lead Rai to start their evening program earlier (which would require a reduction in the space for access prime time programs, which seems difficult to achieve) or if each network will continue doing their own thing until the future is clearer based on advertising revenue data.