The Real Loser in the Comcast-TWC Merger


On February 13, 2014, television service providers Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Inc. announced a transaction that would combine the two businesses. In most negotiations, there tends to be a victor and a loser that succumbs to defeat.

In the case of this particular alliance, only one group is truly getting a raw deal: the paying subscribers who seek reliable and accurate information about their TV programming.

While FYI Television appreciates the services offered by Comcast and TWC, recent Twitter posts indicate that there are insufferable issues with their data - which can easily be remedied. And we're fully aware that these blunders are inclined to be the fault of their main supplier, and not the cable companies.

We understand that no data firm is 100% perfect, but as a company that values friends and family members, and cares first and foremost about the experience the consumer is receiving, we believe this needs to be addressed accordingly, for general community improvement. The data could definitely be better.

Let's review a few examples.

This viewer was looking for information about the 1995 action film, “Mortal Kombat,” based on the eponymous martial arts video game and rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “some violence,” among other reasons, while perusing the HBO Zone channel.

However, instead of learning about what actors are starring or even receiving a proper summary, the viewer is provided with a listing for entirely the wrong movie, Spencer Halpin’s 2009 documentary “Moral Kombat,” a movie that, coincidentally, analyzes video game violence.

While watching AMC, this viewer was trying to locate a synopsis covering 1997 multiple Academy Award-nominated James Cameron film, Titanic. Unfortunately, all of the information they were greeted with was inaccurate. The actors, paltry two star rating, MPAA rating and summary all belong to a 1996 CBS miniseries.

And it’s not just incorrect ratings, actors and descriptive content that’s disgruntling viewers. Sports fans hoping to see the correct images and logos for the beloved teams that they support are expressing their frustration as well. The NBA is not the NHL.

In this case, Canadian jazz crooner Michael Bublé was somehow confused for iconic basketball player Michael Jordan. How does this even happen?

But the sheer madness does not stop here. It gets worse. Much worse.

At 11 a.m., a viewer of Showtime Extreme discovered that instead of 2010 Australian drama ”Tomorrow, When the War Began,” an adult movie having a title and steamy summary that has absolutely nothing in common with the aforementioned film was somehow listed. Not only is this inaccurate, it’s eyebrow-raisingly inappropriate as well.

Obviously, and sadly, these quick examples clearly illustrate what even more audience members will likely be receiving on their EPGs.

Luckily, at FYI Television, there are several methods for ensuring that these sorts of embarrassing errors, mistakes and mishaps don’t happen with the metadata.

Content Categories

FYI Television utilizes a specialized not rated, adult-oriented category to directly distinguish between films and shows that belong on a station such as Hallmark, versus something that should really appear on the Playboy channel.

Title Confirmation

Before an adult title can be inputted into a live program schedule, FYI Television editors are required to verify the selection via software prompts before the information is permanently saved and distributed.

Specific Genres

FYI maintains a system of numerous genres to differentiate between programs that may only feature sexual content, as opposed to an all-out explicit title.

Learn more about FYI Television’s accurate, flexible metadata by requesting further information from one of our talented experts.

We encourage Comcast to strongly contemplate fixing the inaccuracies surrounding their EPG guide. And if the inaccuracies are not Comcast's, but result from their current data provider, then we highly recommend considering an alternate provider. 

According to subscribers, they could certainly use an upgrade.

Author: Brian Cameron

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