• Half of BitTorrent downloads are TV shows
  • Half of BitTorrent downloads are TV shows
    Written by battye
    Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:01 am

    What does this statistic tell us? It tells us that the TV show producers are making a big mistake. Perhaps it is time producers start reconsidering the way they distribute their programs. One popular TV show, 30 Rock, had run its entire first season in the US before it had even aired in Australia - at 10:30pm at night. Is a viewer going to be inconvenienced by rubbish timeslots and stone age delays. Hell no! America must have sent the tapes to Australia by sea mail to account for 5 months or so.

    Users are forced to use BitTorrent to see their favourite TV shows, and until the big companies get their act together and make life easier for the viewers - who are keeping these same companies alive mind you - then they can't complain about people downloading programs off BitTorrent. Instead of offering TV shows for a small fee on iTunes, which is what the ABC are doing, why not offer them for free on their own websites without restriction? NBC I've seen in the past have made their shows available, but only to US viewers - who are the ones that would have seen it in primetime anyway. Fat lot of good that is to the international viewers who are the ones that are forced to turn to downloads.

    NBC, ABC, CBS and so on... they are all about squeezing every penny. A shame really, because if they made their shows globally available online, for free, people would be more inclined to purchase the season DVD's. If you think about it, for everyone that downloads the show off BitTorrent, they have a hard copy which they can burn to DVD themselves. If the shows were legally available, then people would most likely watch them online and then purchase the DVD later so they can see it in widescreen with surround sound and what not.

    In Australia, one TV station - Channel 10 - has in recent times been broadcasting the US shows (such as House) by satellite within 24 hours of its US airing. This needs to happen more and more, not just in Australia either. Spare a thought for Singaporeans, they still have 2 seasons of The OC and Everybody Loves Raymond to air. If viewers haven't already downloaded the remaining seasons, then they are 3 and 5 years behind respectively.

    Those sort of figures tell a sorry story, it's time for TV stations around the world to get their act together.
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