ARCHIVES - LINDO Goes Prime Time

LINDO Goes Prime Time

Our products have been used to solve network problems at thousands of businesses around the world, but this is a case of using LINDO to solve a little different type of network problem -- a network television problem.

In the last several years, the television industry has seen tremendous change. Not so long ago, the three major networks captured the lion's share of the viewing audience. Today, with literally hundreds of channels from which to choose and remote controls for channel surfing, the viewing market is extremely fragmented. While competition for viewers escalates, network programming costs have shot through the roof. This has left networks scrambling to maximize market share with innovative scheduling strategies. To assist with scheduling decisions, researchers at University of Georgia have developed an analytical model for optimal prime-time TV scheduling known as SPOT (Scheduling Programs Optimally for Television).

SPOT uses a mixed integer, generalized network-flow, mathematical programming model to produce optimal schedules based on predicted ratings for different combinations of prime-time schedules. The model combines historical performance along with subjective inputs from network managers. SPOT's embedded solver, an Industrial version of LINDO, was found to be particularly adept at solving the underlying integer programming model -- solving all models in under 2 seconds each.

Using historical data obtained from a cable network, SPOT produced solutions that would have increased overall profitability by approximately 2% (representing over $6 million annually for the network).

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