How To Get An Automatic Text Message When Your Favorite TV Show Is On

Dave LeClair 30-11-2011

tv text message alertsAlmost everyone enjoys watching some TV at one time or another. It is a terrific way to take your mind off the world around you and relax. The problem for me is that I always seem to forget when the shows I want to watch are on. I will be sitting around playing some Call of Duty or Skyrim, and the next thing I know, the show I was waiting for has come and gone.


Having a DVR certainly helps rectify the situation, but there is something to be said for watching the show live, as it happens. There is nothing worse than forgetting the show is on, then having a friend text you and utterly spoiling the end of the episode for you. I want to be mad at them, but it is my own fault for forgetting to watch the show in the first place. Thankfully, through the magic of IFTTT, my poor memory problems are solved. If you are unfamiliar with IFTTT, you should check out this delightful MakeUseOf article If This Then That: Connect & Automate Any Two Of Your Favorite Web Apps Connect any two of your favorite web apps in creative ways. A sort of "digital duct tape" according to Linden Tibbets, the app's creator, If This Then That (ifttt) lets you find new uses for... Read More to learn the basics.

Setting Up A TV Show RSS

IFTTT does not have a native app in place for TV show reminders, but it does have the ability to alert you of the latest changes to an RSS feed. This is where mytvrss comes in to play. With mytvrss, you can set up an RSS feed for all your favorite TV shows simply by checking their name off a list.

tv text message alerts

After you finish choosing the shows, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “create feed.” This will bring to a screen where you can choose to enter your email address to be emailed when a new show is on, and where you will be given the URL for your new RSS feed.

tv show text message


By default, mytvrss can email you reminders about your favorite TV shows, and if that is good enough, than read no further. However, for me an email is not enough, as I do not always check it. I need the text message to get my attention. This is where IFTTT comes through, and where the next step in the process begins.

Setting IFTTT To Send Text Message Alerts

Make sure to copy the URL from step one, and then go to IFTTT to set up text alerts for the RSS. For the basics of IFTTT make sure to check out this article If This Then That: Connect & Automate Any Two Of Your Favorite Web Apps Connect any two of your favorite web apps in creative ways. A sort of "digital duct tape" according to Linden Tibbets, the app's creator, If This Then That (ifttt) lets you find new uses for... Read More from Justin. It breaks down all the basics of using the app.

tv show text message

Register for an IFTTT account if you do not already have one, and click the “Create Task” button on the top right of the page. Next, click the “This” link. Click on the button called “Feed” with the big orange RSS symbol.


tv show text message

Next, paste the feed that you copied from mytvrss and click “Create Trigger.”

tv show text message

Next, click the “That” link. Scroll down and click on “SMS.” Enter your phone number in the box that pops up and IFTTT will send you a four-digit pin number. Enter the number provided to confirm that you wish to set up IFTTT texting.


tv text message alerts

Click on the “Create Action” button. The last step is simply to enter a description for the task. Click on “Create Task” and you will be all set to receive text message reminders for your favorite TV shows.


It seems as if every day there is a new and creative use for IFTTT. It seems poised to become one of the single most useful web apps ever created, and as they add more and more channels, it will only get better. Try it out for television shows, or whatever cool use you can think of, and I promise it will make your life a little easier.

Image Credit: ShutterStock


Related topics: Instant Messaging, Notification, Television.

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  1. sandokanfirst
    February 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    It seems that mytvrss is out of business now (February 2017). Anybody know whether there is a current alternative?


  2. Koz83
    December 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Assuming you actually like TV, here is my experience.  Ifttt works, but it did not work with mytvrss.  It did work with and their public feed but the text came 17 minutes after the show started.

  3. Peter
    December 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    my co-worker's step-mother made $276096 so far just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site...

  4. K W H
    December 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    So busy playing video games you forgot to watch a TV show? Jesus, get some priorities people, if this sounds like a good idea to you stop being such a gluttonous black hole for the endless consumption of mindless consumer entertainment. Media should be a thought-provoking distraction from the creative and meaningful tasks of ones life, not a priority in itself.

    • Dave LeClair
      December 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Interesting take. Although, I have to ask why you read the article if you are that disinterested in TV and "mindless consumer entertainment."

  5. Niks
    December 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Is it for all countries or just USA ?

    • Dave LeClair
      December 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      It should work internationally, not all counties though.