Netflix Shows - Air Time

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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:24 pm

Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:56 pm

For most Netflix shows their official release time is 12am PST aligning with their HQ timezone, which differs from most air times in the US being released in the EST timezone.

Unfortunately the air time for shows on TheTVDB differs show to show (approximately a 50/50 split for shows that aren't Ended based on what I was able to gather).

Stranger Things that was released at 12am PST today, but has an air time of 3am ( and Ozark, which has an air time of 12am (, but also releases at 12am PST.

The different times makes it impossible to normalize the air time to UTC accurately (which my application does to show the air time in the user's timezone, currently it treats Netflix releases as being done in the US/Pacific timezone), so my question is, should the air time for Netflix shows match their HQ/official release time of 12am PST or be set to 3am to match other US-based shows? An official stance would be great to ensure we're normalizing the time correctly and to avoid wasting time updating shows.

TLDR: Should Netflix shows be set to 12am or 3am for their air time?
Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:01 pm

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:38 pm

We are trying to standardize release times in the new site. And we believe that this should be the policy moving forward, but there are probably a lot of series that need to be brought up to this standard.

PREMIERE TIMES - In an effort to standardize premiere dates, we would like to start using the US EST premiere date time on all US series and for all other non-US series, the time of the show’s country capitol or most populous city. Also, this means for US streaming providers (Hulu, Netflix, CBS All Access, etc) should use the 3AM time entry for their series drops.
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:29 pm

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:10 am

also on the new site, any chance of providing the airtime in utc on your side?
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:24 pm

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:18 am

Thanks! Looking forward to the standardization with v3. I ran a query on our proxy yesterday and found there were 443 Continuing shows (minus some dupes that I didn't filter out) and 230 of those were set to midnight instead of 3am, so quite a few to update.

The problem with UTC is it's not accurate with Daylight Savings Time, this is something we need to account for when we normalize the time. Personally I think the best solution would be a per-episode air time (since show change time slots and days of week), perhaps with the option to translate that to UTC.
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Posts: 2184
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:23 pm

Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:29 pm

Storing times in UTC makes a lot of sense, but we need to work through a handful of code changes to make that happen. Give the priority we've assigned to other items, that's not likely to happen in Q3 of this year. Q4 is more likely.
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:24 pm

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:13 pm

How would that work for Daylight Savings Time? Right now 7pm Eastern is GMT-4 (EDT), but when we're out of DST it'll be GMT-5 (EST), so shows that have airings on both sides of the DST switch would need to be updated.

Instead of storing in UTC could we have the times stored with the TZ database name as well? For US based shows that would be `US/Eastern`.

Currently we're using network names to map the the timezone, which takes DST into account (based on the air date of the episode), using UTC would just make this a different problem.
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