Can I use the words “telecast” and “TV program” to have the same meaning?

  • 1
    Why the votes to close with no comments or advice posted? I think it's quite an interesting question.
    – PerryW
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 12:32
  • You may not find it easy to establish any difference from dictionaries, so I don't entirely agree with the (currently four) closevotes. As a general principle, this noun usage of a telecast refers to some video content (loosely, a "program") which is simultaneously broadcast across multiple "channels". A program is still a program both before and after it has been "broadcast" (or recorded on tape, disc, etc.) since this refers more to the video content itself, but a telecast specifically refers to the mode of dissemination. Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 12:33
  • If the dictionaries aren't clear, it would be helpful to know what definition the asker is looking at and what confuses them about it. @FumbleFingers
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 20:24
  • @ColleenV: I didn't even bother checking any dictionaries myself - but I've just looked now, to find the first definition for telecast says [noun:] a television broadcast, [verb:] transmit by television. So I stand by my comment. Particularly given the only answer posted here before you lot closed the question makes no mention of what I consider to be the key aspect of current usage (simultaneous transmission via multiple channels, which usually only arises in the context of important live sports events, etc.). Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 22:14
  • So, if you were to answer the question with the same effort put into asking it, you could just say "No, you can't. " I could have chosen the "needs more detail" reason for closing it, but it's still not a great question even if you personally have read some interesting aspects into it. If it's edited to be more than a yes or no question, I'll vote to reopen. @FumbleFingers
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


Yes and no... Telecast can be both either a verb or a noun so, while I hope you wouldn't, you could say that you "were going to telecast a TV program" (Yes, I know it's a tautology).

But, in the OPs question we can assume that we're discussing the noun form of telecast and here's where it gets a bit tricky. Telecast goes back to the first days of television with the earliest example in the OED dating from 1937 and, by early usage and by dictionary definition, they have the same meaning and are interchangeable. However, I think it's fair to say that today (and I've just confirmed this by that very scientific method - a Google search) telecast is most commonly used in relation to the broadcast of live events.

Some recent examples (from British, US and Australian sources):

For the second consecutive event, viewership of NBCSN's telecast of a Verizon IndyCar Series race showed a significant viewership gain

Phillip Hughes funeral to be telecast live

Clint Eastwood's tasteless Caitlyn Jenner joke to be cut from awards telecast

The 21st Life Ok Screen Awards will telecast on Life Ok on Sunday 25th

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