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TV Listings Manager is Coming!



The TV Listings Manager is a console that enables stations to update and correct individual, local TV Schedules data that appears on PBS platforms. These include the PBS TV Schedules API, the online TV schedules provided for station websites, Bento TV Schedules, and schedules across pbs.org and PBS apps.

The last two are particular important to highlight, because it means that the upcoming launch of the TV Listings manager is important for all stations. We will host a webinar on September 21st, at 2pm EST, to provide an overview and demo of the TV Listings Manager, as well as information about the upcoming launch.

Three stations have been participating in the pilot program for the new tool, each of which use PBS TV Schedules in different ways:

WMHT, which uses Bento, WXXI, which uses the PBS online TV Schedule, and WETA, which uses the API for a custom implementation. As we approach the full release of the TV Listings Manager, we asked Jess Snyder at WETA to tell us about her experience thus far.

1. JF: First off, thanks again for helping us test the TV Listings Manager. How have you implemented TV Schedules on WETA’s website?
JS: At WETA we have taken advantage of the PBS TV Schedule API to create our own custom display of TV Schedule data.

2. JF: Tell us a little about your current workflow to edit your online TV listings.
JS: Currently, our Television Coordinator sends our listings data to Rovi and the other various services every month. She then checks the data that is returned to us and sends any corrections to listings services. We wait for the corrections to be made and to appear on the site. If they don't, she follows up and asks them again to correct the listing. And if the correction is never made, we will put an alert on the website informing our viewers of the correct schedule. This is not ideal.

3. JF: Thank you for agreeing to beta test the TV Listings Manager. Can you please describe your new workflow?
JS: Our new workflow remains similar to the old workflow, except that now if the correction isn't made in a timely fashion, I can edit the listing myself using the TV Listings Manager. This is a much more elegant solution than simply putting up an alert.

The TV Listings Manager is a great addition to our toolbox and I definitely see it as a resource to use when there is a problem with our listings that Rovi hasn't corrected. However, since it will only correct the listings information in the PBS ecosystem, it is not a complete replacement for our current workflow. Rovi and the other listings services still need to fix any schedule issues in their system so that correct information will be presented in on-screen guides, third-party listings and anywhere else our viewers may be accessing schedule data. That said, knowing that I now have the ability to ensure that at least our own website will have correct schedule information gives me great peace of mind.

4. JF: How would you describe the TV Listings Manager in 140 characters or less?
JS: The TV Listings Manager provides a new last line of defense in the eternal struggle to provide accurate schedule data to our viewers. #win!

Thanks to Jess Snyder for taking the time to answer these questions, and for agreeing to participate in the pilot program. Please remember to register for the TV Listings Manager webinar, which will be held September 21st at 2pm EST.

By José Fernández | Senior Manager | SPI Team | PBS Digital

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