Would it be adequate to use the term "counterprogramming" also for non-TV events like counterprogramming a party at the same time of another one? For example:

I am sorry I didn't check the date for your party, I didn't mean to counterprogramme it with mine.

or something to that effect :-)


Yes, counterprogramming is generally a TV term, but it could be applied anywhere you schedule something specifically to compete or draw people or attention away from another scheduled thing.

This is extremely common in politics, where media attention is as important as oxygen.

The most recent non-TV example I can think of is that conservatives scheduled a brand-new "Right Online" conference at the same time and in the same hotel as the far larger liberal-leaning Netroots Nation conference in Minneapolis last month.

  • There has been an example of counterprogramming going on in the Luann comic strip, starting May 25, 2016. – Hot Licks Jun 10 '16 at 3:03

I'm not actually familiar with that term, although it makes perfect sense to me in context. Perhaps it's European English? At any rate, my answer would be that it's appropriate to use that term any time it would also be appropriate to use the term "programming."

And as it's not common to refer to a party or most social events as a "program" or as "programming," it would probably be unconventional to use "counterprogramming" in the same context.

However, that doesn't mean it's invalid, in my opinion, only non-conventional. And there are times when using a non-conventional phrase is precisely what you want to do.

  • thx. I realised there is even a wikipedia entry for it: secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Counterprogramming that seems to indicate American origin... – 719016 Jul 14 '11 at 11:06
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    Interesting. And I never watch the Superbowl--I always find something else to watch, so I guess I'm guilty of consuming counterprogramming, and didn't even know it! – Flimzy Jul 14 '11 at 11:09

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