Ever read something and have red flashing lights go off in your head? It happened to me a few minutes ago. It was a story promoted on Twitter by the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s the headline:
Sing-Offs Duel Saps Ratings
‘X Factor’ Producer Proposes Truce With ‘The Voice’ as Rivalry Goes Head to Head
Two words flipped the switch: Truce, Rivalry.
From wsj.com: With ratings for the singing contests “The X Factor” on Fox and “The Voice” on NBC down sharply this season, “X Factor” producer Simon Cowell proposed a novel solution: Why don’t the two sides meet and find a way to stop beating each other up?
I am not a lawyer. Duh! A few attorneys read this and they’ll surely let me know if I’m wrong.
You can’t collude with your competition. You can’t agree to pull your punches against each other. It’s as simple as that.
Specifically Cowell wants to “divide territories.” Here’s what Wikipedia says.
Dividing territories (also market division) is an agreement by two companies to stay out of each other’s way and reduce competition in the agreed-upon territories. It is one of several anti-competitive practices outlawed in the United States. The term is generally understood to include dividing customers as well.
I’m guessing by now someone’s told Cowell and we won’t be hearing any more from him on this. The story might just die. No harm, no foul.
Or maybe not.
3 thoughts on “Truce And Rival Together Is Against The Law”
I really don’t see why they’re having such a problem with this. I watch them both. One I watch in real time and the other I DVR to watch later. Unless I’m mistaken, DVR viewing counts in the ratings. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
OOps, my bad. They on two different days. And in that case, I am really confused about the rivalry. I’ll never understand why they all need to be so competitive. It must have something to do with money.
But sometimes a little collusion makes so much more sense.
Case in point – in 1996 there was a major coup in Indycar racing and the sport essentially split into two factions – the IRL and CART. Races were scheduled so that it was impossible to participate in both, and angry words (and worse) flew for years. Eventually both sides buried the hatchet and got back together, but by then most of the fan base had gotten tired of it, and bailed.
Now, in truth, the pie could have been split very easily. CART was primarily road courses, and the IRL ovals. If the two sides had played nicely with each other, not scheduled races at the same time, and not bad mouthed each other, the sport might still be divided, but it would be far healthier than it is today.
Legal? I don’t know. Sensible? Definitely.