TV pirates cost networks $200 million [news]

Per capita, Australia is the second-most download-friendly country in the world after Britain, and our lust for TV piracy costs the entertainment industry an estimated $200 million per year.

All I have to say to that is: sucked in, networks. If people want to watch something you’re withholding, of course they’re going to find alternative ways to get it – ways that let viewers decide when and where they want to watch it, without being beholden to erratic schedules.

Pretty much every Australian broadcaster makes a big deal about fast-tracking, but off the top of my head I can only think of two that get it right: Ten, which airs House the day it airs in the States; and the Comedy Channel, ditto with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. (Nine was doing top work with Fringe up till this week.) Plenty of other shows air in Australia three, seven or 10 days after premiering overseas, but… that’s really not good enough. The internet is instantaneous. Keep up.

I realise that in the real world it’s probably not as simple as that… but when an Emmy Award-winning comedy like 30 Rock (or a cult drama like Gossip Girl, or an easily-spoiled reality show like Project Runway) airs in Australia months after the US, in an unpredictable, late-night timeslot to boot, folks are plenty justified downloading it.

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3 Responses to “TV pirates cost networks $200 million [news]”

  1. It gets even worse for shows that aren’t even shown here or are restricted to Pay TV, and then we don’t get to see them at all.

    NZ has passed a law for 3 strikes and no more net if you pirate, which would be simply marvellous – could you imagine being banned from THE WHOLE FRICKEN INTERNET?

    That would leave folks with a future in this increasingly online world, I’m sure!

    This time next year we’re going to have a censored internet anyway, and we’ll all be screwed and in a country that already has slow internet speeds compared to the more modern parts of the world we’re going to end up with even slower speeds (between 20% and 90% slower??).

    This is pretty much driving me nuts – I mean why can’t we have Hulu or something like that over this side of the world?

  2. Conclusion: Australia sucks.

  3. I completely agree. I’m perfectly happy to watch House on channel 10, “fasttracked” as it is, but I’m not waiting for the networks to decide they want to start showing The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Pushing Daisies, BSG, etc. If I did, I’d never got to see them. And I have to say, I started downloading Fringe because channel 9 never runs anything on time and even though I set my IQ to record 10 minutes late, I’d still miss the end of the show. And they wouldn’t let me put a series pass on it. Channel 10 lets me do that. What’s channel 9’s problem?!

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