Delay TV Shows for months then blame Piracy

Delay TV Shows for months then blame Piracy

In a transcript of a speech by ABC CEO Mark Stott, he says:

Of all the stories on debt and ratings turmoil affecting different commercial television networks, I suspect the impact of piracy is the under told one.

One of the early challenges Channel 10 faced this year was the disappointing performance of a suite of high profile comedy programs out of the United States.

To showcase the new 2012 ratings year on Ten, they had had held them back until several months after they were first broadcast to considerable fanfare in the US. Television networks have always done this in Australia.

But this year, Channel 10 found the audiences it had been expecting weren’t there – they’d been and gone, online. They were good shows, easily found and watched within hours of their initial US broadcast. And there is no doubt that with its traditional younger demographic profile, a network like Ten is more vulnerable to this than other networks, but we’re all vulnerable.”

The SMH reports on this as “Piracy to blame for Ten slump: Scott“.  It might have also been spun “Treating your customers like mugs to blame for Ten Slump”.  Entertainment is the only industry where practitioners claim a right to prevent the resale of their product – a claim that legislatures are increasingly recognising.   It is extremely annoying to be told that being Australian means you’re a second class world citizen.  You get to pay more for your books, more for your movies, more for your software than everyone else and, to boot, you can get everything months later – if at all. What is worse is that, instead of punishing media companies for so poorly serving the community, they heap copyright subsidies on them, only encouraging them to behave worse.  There is too much power concentrated in the entertainment industry.   Our society suffers the collateral damage from its continual clamour to take rights away from people, and the legislature’s willingness to satisfy its whims.  This needs to change.

PS: he also says:

“Of course it means at this point, we are not able to allow or endorse our content being used in ways for which we don’t have the rights. This week, the ABC had to ask that actions which were enabling some to download iview content be ceased — because at this point, we don’t have the rights to permit downloads.

Rights holders need to be protected.  It’s up to us to understand audience demands and work with rights owners as we move towards meeting those demands legally, while not putting existing services at risk.”

Which may be a reference to python-iview (although apparently it was earlier than this week).  It is not clear why “rights holders”  “need” to be “protected”.  I’m a “rights holder”.  Who is protecting my interests?


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