Tore Nilssen and Lars Sørgard

Time Schedule and Program Profile: TV News in Norway and Denmark

Two TV channels compete on programming with respect to both time schedule (continuous choice) and program profile (discrete choice), with a directional constraint concerning time schedule (viewers cannot watch TV before they get home). We show how the relative importance of program profile and time schedule, as perceived by the viewers, determines the equilibrium outcome. Furthermore, we find that there is a first-mover disadvantage in a sequential game where one channel sets its two choice variables before its rival does, and a first-mover advantage in a semise-quential game where the channels set time schedules sequentially and thereafter set program profiles simultaneously. The results are applied to the Norwegian and Danish markets for TV news, where number-two channels have challenged the incumbents.