Showbiz Sandbox 256: A Proposal For Fixing Television Ratings

November 3, 2014

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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.

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Weekend Report: ‘Nightcrawler,’ ‘Ouija’ in Dead Heat Over Halloween
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3950&p=.htm

Why Theaters Are Refusing to Book Godard’s Moneymaking 3D ‘Goodbye to Language’
http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/why-theaters-are-refusing-to-book-godards-moneymaking-3d-goodbye-to-language-20141031

Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Horns’ Falters in Theaters, Saved by VOD
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/specialty-box-office-daniel-radcliffes-745635

Alibaba, Sony Pictures In Co-Financing Talks
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/alibaba-sony-pictures-in-co-financing-talks-exclusive-1201341626/

AMC Entertainment Reports Declining Quarterly Earnings
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amc-entertainment-reports-declining-quarterly-744554

PBS Improves Household Ranking in 2013-14
http://www.tvmediainsights.com/pbs-improves-household-ranking-2013-14/

Regal Exploring Possible Sale
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/regal-exploring-possible-sale-1201340323/

Journalism, Independent and Not
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/03/business/media/journalism-independent-and-not.html?_r=0

‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Signs for Season 7 with Big Raises
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/game-thrones-cast-signs-season-744314

Judge Rejects Bid of Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams to Win ‘Blurred Lines’ Lawsuit
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/judge-rejects-bid-robin-thicke-745106

Egypt Court Sentences Editor of Oscar-Nominated ‘The Square’ to Three Years in Prison
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/egypt-court-sentences-editor-oscar-744086

Movie Industry Officially Bans Google Glass, Other Wearable Devices
http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/movie-industry-officially-bans-google-glass-other-wearable-devices-1201342303/

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Set for Biggest Sales Week Since 2002: 1.3 Million-Plus
http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6304336/taylor-swift-1989-biggest-sales-week-since-2002

With ’1989,’ Taylor Swift Set to Notch Another Million-Seller
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/taylor-swifts-1989-likely-to-sell-a-million-copies-this-week/?_r=0

F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/01/technology/fcc-considering-hybrid-regulatory-approach-to-net-neutrality.html

Does the FCC Really Not Get It About The Internet?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/31/does-the-fcc-really-not-get-it-about-the-internet/

L. M. Kit Carson, Actor and Writer in Independent Film, Dies at 73
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/movies/l-m-kit-carson-actor-and-writer-dies-at-73.html

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