Online TV Listings: Shortcomings You Need To Know About

The other day I was looking for some content for what would be on TV that night. But in my perusing the web, I discovered that no one listing provider seems to "have it all," or at least on two occasions, that is what I've noticed. But I also found a winner amongst the losers too.  Read on and find out who loses and who wins this odd set of observations.

- - -

Over on TV Guide's New Tonight page they seem to leave out some of the lesser watched cable network TV stations.  For instance, last week I was looking for some of the Shark Week shows on Discovery, but they had no coverage of that, and later I found, a few other cable networks. IE: They did not have the Discovery Channel in their lists.

My guess is that TV Guide deals with the main stream content that "most" users would want. They're going with the known ratings commodities. That and you might notice they provide listings for a pay channel or two also. Keep in mind that TV Guide is owned by Open Gate Capital, and is a part of CBS Interactive, or CBS Corporation. Yes, that CBS.


Then there's another outlet I had been looking at recently, called LocateTV. Now this site provides many smaller cable channels in their listings and seems much easier to digest and use. It's almost my preference.

But they tend to drop the ball on listing some reality TV shows on the primary networks. After catching the miss a second time a few weeks ago with them, I wrote them a friendly note mentioning it. You know, just in case something was wrong on the back end that they did not know about. Instead I received a rather curt note that seemed more defensive than thankful.

A great example of LocateTV's shortfall is their TV listing for the night of the day this piece is being written.

American Ninja Warrior is one of NBC's biggest, funnest summertime hits. TVGuide of course, lists it, but it is nowhere to be seen on LocateTV's listings.

If you don't care about the reality TV kind of programming, then you should be fine using LocateTV. They seem more comprehensive in listing everything than TV Guide does.

- - -

But if you want a complete list of what's on TV Tonight:

From what I can tell, though I have not tested it thoroughly, IMDb's TV Listings page appears to be very thorough and easy to navigate.

It would make sense, considering that IMDb is an Amazon Company, and they want you to have access to everything possible, just in case it sparks an interest in buying something you watch. Right?


The first two options list only shows that are not reruns whereas IMDb shows you EVERYTHING that is on "tonight."

For you, my readers and visitors, considering how the first two options do not seem to be fully compliant with showing you a list without filtering, then I'd have to suggest IMDb's interface.

Though I must digress and wonder if it is truly the front-end's fault for not listing content or if they have a provider that is falling short on them? I only ask that because at times when my old COMCAST on-screen menu was wrong, and I investigated it, it turned out that they only get what is provided to them by the networks.

Food for thought, but I'm leaning towards eyeballing the list maker as the falling short source.

Any how, thought you'd like to know this tiny difference between providers.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Follow Cinema Static on: