Showbiz Sandbox 256: A Proposal For Fixing Television Ratings

Thanks to mobile devices, laptops, streaming video, DVRs and good old fashioned live viewing, it’s never been easier to watch your favorite television shows. However this explosion of viewing options has made it harder to keep track of how many people view each show, precisely when and on what device. Despite the difficulty of getting accurate figures networks still feel the need to report overnight ratings even if they don’t reflect a program’s total viewership.

We propose taking a new approach to television ratings that might fix this problem. For starters stop making a distinction between broadcast and cable networks. Same goes for differentiating ratings based on a show’s specific time slot or which day it airs on. And those are just a few of the suggestions we debate.

Another complicated issue the entertainment industry is grappling with is net neutrality. The FCC is reportedly weighing a “hybrid” solution to open Internet legislation which would classify entities as either wholesale or retail providers. Granted, there is no clear cut way to make such categorizations and consumers could wind up getting stuck with higher broadband fees, but why quibble over details?

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including why Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams may be headed to court to defend their hit song “Blurred Lines”, movie theaters ban the use of wearable devices like Google Glass and Taylor Swift once again dominates album sales.


Weekend Report: ‘Nightcrawler,’ ‘Ouija’ in Dead Heat Over Halloween

Why Theaters Are Refusing to Book Godard’s Moneymaking 3D ‘Goodbye to Language’

Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Horns’ Falters in Theaters, Saved by VOD

Alibaba, Sony Pictures In Co-Financing Talks

AMC Entertainment Reports Declining Quarterly Earnings

PBS Improves Household Ranking in 2013-14

Regal Exploring Possible Sale

Journalism, Independent and Not

‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Signs for Season 7 with Big Raises

Judge Rejects Bid of Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams to Win ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit

Egypt Court Sentences Editor of Oscar-Nominated ‘The Square’ to Three Years in Prison

Movie Industry Officially Bans Google Glass, Other Wearable Devices

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Set for Biggest Sales Week Since 2002: 1.3 Million-Plus

With ’1989,’ Taylor Swift Set to Notch Another Million-Seller

F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality

Does the FCC Really Not Get It About The Internet?

L. M. Kit Carson, Actor and Writer in Independent Film, Dies at 73