A general theory of relativistic television programming
A general theory of relativistic television programming
J.M. Woithe+ & R. Liang*
It has come to our attention that the quality of TV programming has
declined markedly  since sensationalist values  descended on operators,
practitioners financiers, producers, proprietors  and miscellaneous
administrative staff of television broadcasting companies and/or
organizations. This paper serves to define what appears to be the driving
relationships of this phenomenon, identified following a combined observation
time of over 40 years.
- The PROFIT of a broadcasting organization is denoted p.
- The VIEWER PERCENTAGE is considered to be the ratio of the number of
television viewers viewing a given broadcast to the total number of
viewers viewing television concurrently. It is denoted v and ranges
from zero to one inclusive.
- The EXPENSE is a generic term used to refer to the amount of money the
ruling bodies must begrudgingly part with in order to run a broadcasting
entity. It is denoted e.
- The NUMBER OF TV PROGRAMMERS refers to the cumulative count of executives
responsible for the arrangement of broadcasting schedules, and is
- It has been found  that the perceived success of a TV station can be
easily observed via the so-called "smile index". The SMILE INDEX s
is defined as the number of smiles on the faces of members of the boards of
directors of the respective television broadcasting company/organizations.
- The ADVERTISEMENT INDEX is the ratio of advertisement time to program
time, divided by the relevance factor of the respective advertisement.
- The RELEVANCE FACTOR of advertisements is a number greater than 0 which
The smaller the relevance, the smaller the contribution to the factor.
The relevance percentages A and P are found by empirically.
The factor is calculated by forming the product of A, P and
- how relevant the ad is to the product (0-100%) (A)
- how relevant the product is to the viewer (0-100%) (P)
- the maximum IQ a viewer may have before the ad is regarded as a
waste of time (I).
Our investigation into the phenomenon of modern day TV programming has turned
up seven (7) major relationships which appear to form the underlying
foundation for TV program scheduling and production.
Furthermore, the existence of these seven (7) relationships appears to
be governed by the underlying truth that those responsible for television
programming are bound by a relativistic relationship to the quantities
"viewer percentage", "expense" and "profit". Experimental results
far indicate that that this relationship can be summarized thus:
- The broadcast priority of a program is inversely proportional the
amount of substantial content , and directly proportional to
amount of tabloidal content .
- When filling the least popular timeslots, programs will be chosen
according to their education or information content, with the most
informative chosen first. 
- The content of advertisements must be such that the subject matter is:
- as mundane as possible 
- more interesting than the program being shown at the time 
- Programmes for prime time viewing must include the greatest possible
proportion of sexual inuendo, violence, inane humour and American culture
and require as little cerebral effort as can be sustained without
allowing the viewer to fall asleep .
- News programmes must include the latest results of the local football
code within the first five items 
- Local programmes should only be allocated minimal funding and star
well-known local actors to offset the effect of poor quality
production, and detract from the lack of a credible plot. 
- Censors exist to make the regulatory committees think that content is
being screened effectively while simultaneously putting in only a token
It can be seen from the above that the smile index s can be expressed in
terms of these quantities:
- the number of TV programmers (relative to profit) must be small
- the profit (relative to expense) must be large
- the expense (relative to viewer percentage) must be small
- the viewer percentage (relative to profit) must be small
The exact power relations however, are known to vary from situation to
situation, and will require greater clarification from ongoing research in
The ongoing action of the recursive relationship described above means that
profit is driven to a maximum as expense is driven to a minimum, while a
sincere attempt is made to simultaneously gain a viewer percentage greater
than 100%. In addition, the action of point (b) concurrently drives the
advertisement index up.
Unfortunately, it seems this process is being left to run its course
with no attempt being made to even slow it down. If this deplorable
situation is maintained the ultimate result will be a catastrophic
explosion of inane programming, which will leave behind a television
wasteland uninhabitable for many years to come.
 Baywatch et al, US chat shows ad nausium
 See for example the first 5 stories of any TV news broadcast, and the
incessant "live" crosses for no worthwhile reason
 Murdoch, R, Packer, K et al
 A correlation study between the stock prices and executive smiles.
Many people have carried out such a study, most easily done around
annual general meeting time.
 Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place et al
 Witness, Today Tonight, A Current Affair et al (Aust), Hardcopy (US)
 Refer to the timing of Science etc related programs in your local TV
 Most foodstuff ads
 Most car ads
 Samurai Pizza Cats (NZ), so called "quality drama"s, highlights of
football games, endless reruns of Olympic gold medal victories
 General easily observed observation
 Police Rescue (Aust), Shortland Street (NZ)
 Models Inc, Sex/Life, Late night chat/variety shows
+ The dept of physics and mathematical physics of the University of
* The medical school of the University of Auckland
to Jonathan Woithe's home page.