Accurate entertainment rights reporting isn’t just a good practice. It’s good business—and it’s big business.
The difference in just one data field can mean thousands upon thousands of dollars if it’s not properly processed. The question is, “What can you do to insure the most precise rights reporting possible?”
That’s a very big question. Luckily, our expert—Quality Assurance Manager Gordon McFarland—knows the ground rules of what to look for in your rights reporting effort. The Five C’s Of Entertainment Rights Reporting. And here they are:
Consistency is key.
The very definition of consistency is doing the something the same way every time. And, when dealing with data that affects rights reporting, it’s step one.
Example: umbrella titles for programing blocks like “Super Adventure Saturday” or “Comedy Wednesday.”
If those are served up as new programs rather than individual existing programs bundled or packaged for marketing and promotions reasons? It's important to know that. And, how you want to treat the data.
“Naturally, networks have placed a big emphasis on their programming blocks—and sometimes the info provided reflects that with corresponding data that makes the new programming block an entirely new program. Rather than an existing program bundled for promotional purposes,” said Gordon.
“Our efforts are geared to reflect the intentions of the provider--so the new program is expressed as such,” he said. “One program, one title, one ID. That’s consistency.”
“Complete” means everything.
In an ideal world, the precise episode title or name of program would be readily available. But since this isn’t necessarily a perfect world, that isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, what would seem the most obvious and essential data is simply not provided. As you might imagine, our expert has some thoughts on how to turn missing data into complete data.
“Before running a rights report, our data analytics tell us if anything is missing. We can then query the airing entity for that information. Or, we can search extensively in our own database. Whatever we have to do to make that data complete and accurate. Without it, the rights report is just as incomplete as the data on that specific program without title,” Gordon explained.
And complete goes even further. Especially when drilling down into the elements of a program—like individual cartoons on a kid’s show or individual sports features in an hour-long magazine format—to make sure that even the individual elements get their just due in terms of rights reporting.
Gordon believes deeper data gets to the heart of what aired, not just a vague program notion.
“We’re drilling down into data beyond just a general idea of what’s airing right down to the individual distinct program elements whenever possible,” he said.
Commitment. We don’t dabble. We’re focused. Specialists.
There are a lot of data processing companies out there.
But only a precious few companies have chosen to focus on rights reporting for the very specialized, very demanding, and very unique needs of the entertainment industry. And that focus translates into a commitment to learning, knowing, and understanding the innate requirements of every report.
“Not only have we worked with the largest rights reporting entities, we’ve formed close relationships and associations that allow us insight into their own methodologies and practices. We understand them, so we understand their needs. And, we’re therefore able to create reports more impactful to their desired goals. In entertainment rights reporting, you really need to talk to companies versed in the entertainment business,” said Gordon.
Constant attention to the data.
When you’re focused on the data, you’re constantly monitoring it. Checking it. Getting to know it.
So when something changes, or seems amiss—you spot it in advance of the folks who are supplying that reporting data. Naturally, Gordon has an example to back up this guideline.
“If, for example, our reporting data suddenly shows a drop in reporting data for a particular program that seems out of the norm—we’ll look into it. In the past, we’ve actually found that a specific program had two different program IDs at the network level. That totally skewed the report, of course, and we were able to inform that network of their own ID issue,” Gordon reported.
“So, not only did we insure the accuracy of the report, we helped the network with the own ID information. In this way, we can help as a second form of verification for rights reporting organizations."
If you’ve followed all the C’s up to now then this step should be a natural.