TV Listings Confusion: An Emphasis on Accuracy


Attention to detail is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining, aggregating and validating television schedules for TV and entertainment metadata.

Without careful precision and an eye for minutiae, silly mistakes can occur from those responsible for assembling this content.

These sorts of errors are also bound to happen when a significant portion of a company’s operations have been outsourced, relying on processes and employees in totally different time zones who may be unfamiliar with the TV shows and networks.

For example, this metadata provider falsely inserted the 1987 Matthew Broderick sci-fi film “Project X” into MTV’s schedule, instead of “Project X,” the 2012 out-of-control party comedy.

And here, when viewers were searching for an appropriate holiday film on the ABC Family channel, the R-rated 1997 serial killer horror movie “Jack Frost” was listed, instead of the 1998 “Jack Frost,” a Michael Keaton-helmed PG fantasy. One can certainly imagine the ‘horror’ felt by audiences when discovering this error.

It applies to more than just fictional programming, too. In this instance, a befuddled metadata supplier mixed up the 2014 American Music Awards “Live from the Red Carpet” event with the 2004 Golden Globes.

This faulty data provider sure seems to enjoy causing snafus with Matthew Broderick movies. Instead of accurately listing the 1998 “Godzilla,” 2014’s “Godzilla” was displayed instead.

How does an issue like this even arise? Disney Jr., which regularly airs Disney movies like the beloved 1977 mouse adventure “The Rescuers,” alternatively has the 2011 Holocaust documentary with the same title in its place. And to make matters worse, the summary in this example is biased.

The bewilderment knows no bounds for the TV metadata provider here. Canada’s MUCH network, known for its music-related shows and selection of comedic programming, had the 1993 “Liar, Liar” made-for-TV drama on the schedule (with the wrong year), versus the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy, “Liar Liar.”

Sadly, we’ve seen pornographic slipups like these in other metadata providers before. It’s worth noting that FYI Television has special protections and adult categories in place to ensure that programming intended for mature audiences does not appear on stations or in channel lineups where it is not meant to be. It should be inherently obvious that at 2 p.m., a station was airing the 1992 legal drama, “A Few Good Men,” and not what's seen here.

It’s clear that certain television metadata suppliers just aren’t cut out for the job. In addition to blunders like these, many have outdated artwork, don’t take summaries seriously and in numerous cases editorialize the EPG.

FYI Television strives for correctness in all these areas and more when it comes to enhanced entertainment metadata. Click below to get in touch with our experts.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Shutterstock.

1 comment:

  1. I remember once, they got "Over the Hedge" the 2006 animated movie about animals mixed up with "Over the Edge", a 1979 movie about teens on a murderous rampage!