8/7c is referring to the time, which would read as 8 o’clock/7 o’clock central time. The first time is referring to Easter Standard Time or EST and the second time is referring to Central Standard Time.
Why are times written like this?
You see times written like this because of the different time zones. The time zones of Eastern Standard Time and Central Standard Time when you look on a map are right next to each other.
Eastern Standard Time(EST) is all of the most eastern states in the US, while Central Standard Time(CST) is the right-central states in the US.
When times are written like this, it is almost always referring to when a show or production is being aired, usually on television. Showtimes are given in this way because most of the population of the US are either in Eastern Standard Time(EST) or Central Standard Time(CST).
This may come as a surprise to some people, but when you think about the states that are in these two time zones – Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania, it makes it more obvious.
Most of our broadcasts, therefore, are geared towards this side of the country, so it makes sense to announce showtimes for both timezones.
More people live in the central to the eastern part of the united states because that is where European settlers first arrived. This part of the country is also more humid, which means that water sources are greater and soil for growing crops is better.
While all of the United States is pretty densely populated all over, especially California, it still remains that the Eastern side is more populated.
What about Mountain and Pacific timezones?
Usually, broadcasting stations and networks will provide their own times for these areas. It will be written in a similar way, either 8p/7m or 8/7m meaning 8 Pacific Standard Time, 7 Mountain Standard Time.
When it is a recorded program, the time zones don’t matter as much because the show will be aired in prime time for that specific area.
However, it becomes more difficult when there is a live event happening. Unfortunately, a live event in California starting at 9 pm Pacific Standard Time means that event will be aired live at 12 am(technically the following day) Eastern Standard Time in New York. The 3 hour time difference isn’t so bad when the events are happening on the east coast.