If only all television networks could be as forward-thinking as the BBC. Then again, not all are paid for by an unavoidable tax which you can got to prison for refusing to pay. There’s always a down side.
Most of you reading this will, at some point in the past, have watched something illegally online. We’re not talking about hardcore pornography here, but normal television programming or a mainstream movie.
The reasons for doing so vary, from price to availability, and just sheer laziness. But a big part of the problem is the way the world is divided up into territories, and each territory gets content at a different time.
That was all well and good years ago, but the Internet has changed things, and made the world a much smaller place where the idea of territorial divisions is falling apart. Unfortunately, the TV and Hollywood studios don’t seem to have realized this. At least for the most part.
Doctor Who On Time For Once
One company that has realized, and adapted as a result, is the BBC, which, according to GigaOM, has reduced the disparity between transmission times around the world of some of its flagship shows in order to counter online piracy.
The example cited is Doctor Who, a show of which U.S. viewers were able to watch the Christmas special just six hours after it premiered on British television. Canada and Australia got the show just one day later. All of which is an improvement on past years.
Richard de Croce, senior VP of programming at BBC America, recently told CNN:
“(American fans) love the shows so much they can’t wait to see them… And that’s the world we live in, in terms of technology, quite honestly. So let’s air these shows as quickly as we can post the UK’s transmission.”
Is it me or is that some good old-fashioned common sense being spouted by a television executive?
The point is that the Internet means the business models of old are no longer sustainable, and it’s only the companies themselves that are fighting to hold onto the past. Viewers are, instead, finding ways of getting the content they want when they want it. And if that means through illegitimate means then so be it.
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