What is Theming?


A broadcaster may temporarily dedicate all or parts of its schedule over a period of time to a specific theme. A well-known instance of a themed lineup is Discovery Channel’s annual “Shark Week”.

Theming is a scheduling strategy.

What is the Purpose of Theming?

Themed schedules are a common practice around major holidays – such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas – where channels may air specials, films, and episodes of their existing programmes that relate to the holiday.

The practice can help to attract viewers interested in programming that reflects the season.

In conjunction with festive programmes, when relevant, a channel may also target viewers on vacation for holiday long weekends or common school breaks, by scheduling marathons of signature programmes and feature film franchises the channel holds rights to, or other themed programming events.

The US basic cable networks Freeform (25 Days of Christmas, 31 Days of Halloween) and Hallmark Channel are known for broadcasting long-term holiday programming events.

After experiencing success with holiday events such as Countdown to Christmas, Hallmark Channel adopted a strategy of dividing its programming into themed seasons year-round, in an effort to position itself as ‘a year-round destination for celebrations’ (which is synergistic with Hallmark Cards’ core greeting card and collectibles businesses.

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