ONE NIGHT ONLY: 5 EPG Mistakes That Make Special Events A Little Less Special

special event tv electronic program guide epg listings
Special events listings for Electronic Program Guides present some unique challenges.

They’re programs that are singular—not part of a series or a league schedule. So, the listing must be self-contained in terms of communicating the attributes of the program. There is no week to week learned storyline to lean upon.

They’re programs that, by definition, are prominent. After all, they’re called “special” events for a reason. Most likely, they are a part of a network’s programming strategy and will be expected to deliver important ratings.

They are also programs that are generally only shown once a year—or once EVER. So the job of the listing has to garner the maximum attention and communicate the maximum show information.

Here are a few common mistakes that can turn a special event into an unfortunate event listing:

There She Is, Miss America…So Point It Out! Special Events Are Special For A Reason!
The Miss America competition is an undisputed 100% Grade A "no doubt about it" national institution.

Therefore, it follows that the listing should reflect an element of that tradition and prestige.
Befitting an institution, you understand.

miss america special event epg screen
So, in our good example, a potential viewer could learn the name of the reigning Miss America who won last year, the location of the event, and even some idea as to the elements of the competition.

And in our bad example? Not only is there a vague show category or genre of “Shows” but the show description could apply to several other award shows. It’s a listing hardly befitting Miss America.

Shameful! It’s our hope that no children had to view that listing, which undeniably sullied an icon. In the listings game, you never sully an icon.

Year After Year After Year, There Are Events More Special Than Others—Make ‘Em Seem That Way!
When a special event has been around 65 years, that’s very very special.

So, when it’s appropriate, it’s nice to comment on last year, this year, and the events traditions. Especially for the night all of television holds in the highest esteem.

emmy awards epg screen
Good example. The listing is informed with Neil Patrick Harris’ past hosting stats, while we also learn both the city and theater where the event is being held.

Not to mention a nice, robust list of guests and nominees to add star power.

Bad example. Gives only the most generic description of arguably television’s biggest night—and just a listing for host Neil Patrick Harris.

Well, if that’s how you treat TV’s best in a listing, that’s downright…disappointing. May we have the envelope please? And the loser is…everybody—but especially the viewers at home.

When A Special Spins Off Into Another Special, Describe It In A Way That’s Special!
Lesser known special events or extensions of award shows—as they’re not as traditional and yearly at this point, will require more explanation to define the program within the mind of the viewer.

Take CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock. Part of another program effort, yet a special event within that offering. More of a performance program than an awards show.

cma music festival epg screen
For instance, good example. A vivid and detailed program description lets viewers know what to expect, while the host and some of country’s biggest names add to the intrigue and night of great music described by this listing.

Meanwhile, bad example. Not only is the event described in a vague manner that pays no homage to the larger event, all the performers are in a “cattle call” that does not distinguish guests from hosts from nominees.

Even country music stars deserve listings better than hog slop.

Star Power Is Special So Don’t Skimp On Celebrity Attraction!
Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert was a star-studded music event designed to bring relief and support to those struck by the tornado disaster in Central Oklahoma.

Given all the high-octane star power there, wouldn’t you want to highlight the event and its worthy cause by getting the most mileage out of those big names? After all, that’s why they’re there—the “star-studded” part of a “star-studded” event!

healing in the heartland special epg screen
In our good example, the names leap off the screen with the just attention they deserve. In our bad example?

It’s almost like they’re an afterthought. When, in reality, they ARE the event of musical performances and will bring a ton of loyal country music fans to the proceedings.

You got stars? Let ‘em shine. Your program guide with get a little shinier when you do, too.

Some Special Events Aren’t Quite As Big Or Prominent As Others—So Explain The Event!
BAFTA happens to be the British Academy Of Film & Television Arts. Basically, they’re the British version of our Academy Awards.

And, while anglophiles and movie fanatics might know this like the back of their hand, the average person does not. So, the guide should explain this fact, while giving the potential viewer their usual amount of requisite information to make their selection.

bafta awards epg screen british special
In our good example, a robust and wide-reaching definition of the event informs viewers as to what they can expect from the program. Celebrated stars, glamorous proceedings, and the annual awards ceremony. Not to mention Britain.

Our bad example, rather than defining the program, launches into a very small number of nominations—without even stating what the nominations are for. Doubly confusing without the context of what the event is about.

As you can see, special events need special care, or they wind up not being very…special.

To find out even more about how and why special event listings need to be even more special in this mobile and second screen age, just contact FYI. We promise it’ll be special.

Get Dynamic Data & Image APIs

Post a Comment