On a recent show we talked about Game of Thrones being the most pirated show on the Internet. A listener from South Africa wrote in to share his view from outside the States. We'll talk more about this subject on Friday
Just thought I'd chime in on this topic. Seems like you and Braden cannot understand why TV shows get pirated when they can be bought on iTunes, viewed on Hulu, etc. [Editor Note: We stated that Game of Thrones is NOT availabe for the current season on iTunes. Cosumers have to wait a complete season to download and that is why we felt the show is highly pirated] Just a reminder that this piracy behaviour is not necessarily a reflection on the US public, but all over the world where the US networks have such a hold on TV rights and when shows can be aired in various countries worldwide. It is the age old legacy of the TV industry that is in a dire need of a huge shake-up. I agree, a TV show should be aired a day later across the world after it was shown in the US. For instance, if a show airs on a Tuesday night in the US, it should air the Wednesday night in the relevant country. This is to cater for time zone differences, etc. I know that does happen in some countries like the UK in most cases.
TV rights are not the only hurdle, but factors like scheduling of shows (there are only so many hours of primetime a day on a channel) as well as the fact that the US networks do not air episodes concurrently. i.e. there are hiatuses which networks worldwide (and I know M-Net here in SA is one of them) just cannot work around in terms of consistent scheduling of programming. My wife for one, cannot handle hiatuses of shows and can you imagine if you unleashed that on the SA public. The networks will get a huge beating for that from the general public.
But back to the piracy problem and I am talking out of experience here. I have DSTV Premium which gives me access to all their channels including M-Net (their premium TV channel) which is where most of the network and cable TV shows are shown. We were very lucky that Game of Thrones was shown a week after the US and due to that, I didn't even think of scheduling it for download via Bit Torrent. That is just one show out of many, many shows that are only aired a few months after the original air date and believe me, I am one who does not like to wait for my favourite show to arrive a few months later. I have already completed the 4th season of Fringe and it hasn't even started here yet.
But everybody I know that watches Game of Thrones, has never had the cord to cut in the first place. i.e. they never had DSTV and downloading their content via Usenet Newsgroups or Bit Torrent is the order of the day. They are not interested in getting DSTV because for the amount of money you pay per month, they just don't see the value because of many shows that only air much, much later.
Many countries worldwide don't have Netflix, Hulu, iTunes TV / Movie stores, Vudu, etc, so the options are:
- Wait a few months for a show and you're not guaranteed that the show you like will air in your country
- Open a US iTunes store account, buy vouchers and buy TV shows that way, which in itself is illegal too - plus the cost, when converting from USD to the local currency, is outrageous! (Apple does not do country IP blocking)
- Download via Bit Torrent / Usenet Newsgroups.
The latter seems so much more attractive.
I believe that the only way to beat piracy is to make the content available in the relevant country a day after it airs in the US on local TV as well as via downloadable mediums like iTunes. If I could get the latest TV shows on TV here, that would halt me downloading from Bit Torrent immediately and I'd imagine that satellite and cable companies would get more subscribers who from a moral point of view, want to do the right thing and pay for good content.
Hope that clears things up.