The Guardian has a story about the return of Breaking Bad, and how to avoid spoilers should you choose not to watch it live:
Sometime around mid-May, when television aficionados had to choose between Game of Thrones and Mad Men – two very different shows whose viewers made for a surprisingly overlapping Venn diagram – the conversation briefly became less about the shows themselves and more about how we were watching them. What were you watching live, and what were you streaming later? Did you have an HBO Go login (or, be honest, borrow a friend’s)? Did you stream, did you pay, did you Torrent, did you YouTube? Did you spread it out over the following week? Sunday night television was and is a feast, and it’s up to us how we order the courses.
One day all English speaking territories will watch the debut of a new AMC drama on an AMC app on your smart TV at the same time, and the worldwide ratings will be published proudly the next morning by the broadcaster. One day.
Earlier this week Google announced that they would be launching a set-top box in the UK market for the first time.
Google’s TV offering has struggled in the US, where it launched in October 2010. Logitech, a partner, lost millions after launching a Google TV set-top box in the US at Christmas 2010. During one quarter, more boxes were returned by customers than sold and the company later pulled out.
Google has since spent heavily on the product, as the living room shapes up to be the latest battleground for internet companies. Nearly a million net-connected TVs were sold in the UK in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, out of a total of 10m TV sales. But it is not clear how many were then actually connected to the net.
If I remember correctly, in the US Google integrated the box deeply with the Dish network, which apparently doesn’t have that many subscribers.
If they were to integrate a Freeview HD tuner and EPG, while simultaneously allowing media streaming capabilities from *any* source, they could really make a dent in the UK market.
I’m not letting this go, am I? Three HBO articles in three days. I can’t stress enough how important it would be for the industry if HBO were to take the plunge and sell their content direct to consumers, bypassing traditional cable and satellite systems.
This Economist article does a fantastic job of laying out the history of the situation, why HBO are best placed to turn the traditional TV model on it’s head, and what they stand to lose or gain as a result. the best part from a UK point of view is:
If HBO were to try selling its programmes directly via the internet it would have a hugely disruptive effect on the television business—more disruptive than anything Netflix or any other company has yet done. A dramatic move may come sooner outside America. In 90-odd countries HBO programmes are licensed to other channels, not shown on a channel of their own. In markets where there are plenty of tablet computers, Mr Nelson says, the firm could offer HBO Go as a stand-alone product.
Anything that takes the power out of BSkyB’s hands (Sky Atlantic) works for me. Good article, make sure you read it all. There will be a test later.
This weekend the Observer had an interview with the co-creator of Father Ted and creator of The IT Crowd, Graham Linehan.
What he’s most aware of, and uncomfortable about, are attempts to brand illicit downloaders of films or music as “pirates”. He sounds exasperated: “These people aren’t pirates, they’re fans,” he says. “If you think of them like that, it becomes much easier to understand. What fans hate, what they fear, is spoilers. They want to get the content as soon as they can.” He sees himself as standing in the middle of the crossfire: “I’m a creator, and I need to be paid and to feed my family, but I’m also a user and a consumer, and I’m really sick of being left out of the conversation. That’s the brilliant thing about Twitter and social media, they can’t leave us out of the conversation any more.” Give the fans the chance to buy the content if they can, and to get it early, and you’ll win their love and their money.
If you could get a legal version of a show on a site, day and date with it’s first airing wherever in the world, there would be much less reason to download it illegally. Let’s all work towards this goal. Who is with me?
True Blood - HBO - June 10
Futurama - Comedy Central - June 20
Snooki and JWoww - MTV - June 21
The Newsroom - HBO - June 24
Wilfred - FX - June 28
Strangely Uplifiting - FX - June 28
Episodes - Showtime - July 1
Breaking Bad - AMC - July 15
Take Me Out - FOX - June 7th.
If E4 don’t snap this up in the UK, they will have made a huge mistake. I guess last years Charlie’s Angels debacle could make them hesitant, but they can’t afford to lose more young women to Sky Living.
Paid Content believe MTV UK will have a hard time changing public perception in the face of the myriad of free offerings.
Charging for catch-up goes against what has become the industry grain. Equivalent catch-up services BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five make shows available for free in the same seven-day window, with advertising in the case of the commercial broadcasters.
It is a tough market in the face of the free terrestrials, but if you start from free and it doesn’t work, where do you go from there?