Michael Grotticelli /
03.22.2010
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
TV network Web sites tested; 908 bugs found

NBC’s television network may be at the bottom of the ratings, but it’s first on uTest’s ratings of network Web sites. The Peacock network beat CBS, Fox and ABC, in that order, in uTest’s “TV Networks Bug Battle competition.”

A software testing company based in Boston, MA, uTest collated or “crowd sourced” feedback from 500 software experts globally to focus on both the Web and mobile sites of each TV network. It then ranked them by order of importance, video quality, download speeds, ease of use, availability of content and community features.

In doing so, uTest found 908 bugs among the four major networks, including technical, functional and graphical user interface bugs. The testers also found cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, which could enable malicious attackers to compromise users’ computers. Their report says XSS vulnerabilities were found on sites belonging to three of the four networks, but it didn’t identify which one was spared.

The report also found that CBS.com had the fewest bugs, 207, but that 20 percent of them where classified as “showstoppers.” A showstopper is not necessarily a bug that will crash the site or spoil the viewing of a show. Instead, it’s an industry term for a defect that the testers felt “warrants immediate attention” by the Web site operator.

Fox.com came in second with only 226 bugs, 24 percent of them classified as showstoppers; followed by NBC.com with 231 bugs, 29 percent showstoppers; and ABC.com, the worst with 244 bugs, 25 percent showstoppers.

NBC.com was ranked best on what the testers felt was the most important quality of a network Web site: video quality, with 70 percent ranking it as “excellent” or “good.”

CBS.com ranked highest in ease of use, with 74 percent ranking it “excellent” or “good.” CBS and NBC tied for first place on content, with 74 positive rankings, and tied again on community features with 63 percent positive rankings.

Under “needs improvement,” ABC.com ranked last on video quality at 61 percent, and Fox.com ranked last on ease of use (49 percent), content (68 percent) and community features (44 percent).

uTest cited figures from the Nielsen Online Video Census Report that 14.3 million unique viewers watched online videos on the four Web sites in January alone.

The full uTest Bug Battle report can be read online.



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