Media

Finally, reason from network TV: Dr. Who episodes available online hours after global release

Finally, someone at a major television network gets it: Unreasonably restricting access to great content drives piracy.

Unfortunately, the major television network is in Australia.

News.com.au is reporting that ABC — that would be the Australian Broadcasting Network — will be featuring new Dr. Who episodes online at ABC iView a week before they are actually aired on television. Showtimes will be just hours after UK airtimes, specifically in an attempt to reduce piracy.

While piracy is wrong, an ABC spokesperson told News.com.au, “The fact that it is happening is indicative that as broadcasters we are not meeting demand for a segment of the population.”

Finally, some sense of reason from a large public broadcaster! Not only will episodes be available online, they will also be available on ABC’s iPhone apps.

This is something Americans might wish stateside network NBC had learned prior to the recent London 2012 Olympic games, in which the digital laggard broadcaster did precisely the opposite: hold all content delivery to a schedule that suited it, not the public — and certainly not the techie, affluent emerging market of cord-cutters. Which, of course, drove people to watch the Olympics online in ways which, while perhaps not exactly qualifying as piracy, certainly did not drive any revenue to NBC.

All TV is moving online.

More correctly, perhaps, all video content is moving online — which is one reason Google just shuttered its TV ad group. The sooner large American networks grasp that reality in their bones, the quicker they can disrupt themselves. It may not be comfortable, and it will not be easy. But the nastier alternative, of course, is that someone else will disrupt them.

Image credit: BBC

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