Tangent — No More Mushrooms

The days of the masses being in the dark about what is available for television viewing are almost gone in developed countries and maybe in some developing countries also. Well, only if you have a computer or know someone who does. But in the recent past, it was very frustrating to watch shows from other countries on a timely basis. There’s no question if I had relied solely on the television networks in the U.S., I still would not have seen North and South, would have been very difficult to watch Robin Hood or Vicar of Dibley, and certainly difficult to get caught up on Spooks before RA was involved.

It will be interesting to see just how long it does take for some of these shows to reach the U.S. Yeah, I know some of them have, but if you blink, you’ll miss them, and no thanks to BBCA, which is a dog of a station and pretty much considered a joke in the U.S. Why should I pay for almost 24/7 viewing of Cash in the Attic?

I wish the networks would get on the stick or they’re just going to lose more viewers, and oh, they have! However I have a niggling feeling that some of them won’t get on the stick but will instead try to limit the market by seeking government regulation in order to thwart access to such things as BitTorent. Aren’t the cable companies already trying to thwart it? Oh, you’re not sure? Some of you cannot get easy access to BitTorrent because your cable companies make the downloading process excruciatingly slow, and you just thought it was your system. Don’t worry. If they keep that up, they’re just asking for someone to come up with a workaround. LOL!

None of this is to say I’m for ‘Net Neutrality,’ which would be the government owning the backbone of the Net. Please God don’t let that happen! No, there does not need to be one entity in control or the cries really will fall on almost deaf ears.

At least with the current system in the U.S. one network might try to get the jump on the others and offer something the others don’t. YEA! for competition. And as much as I’m ranting here, some of the networks are trying to make progress. It’s just not quickly enough to suit me.

Hope to see many more blog pieces in the future like this one from Australia:

How fast is fast-tracked?

aturner | September 23, 2010

The networks continue to “rush” our favourite US shows to air in Australia.
With the rise of the internet, it’s become harder for local TV networks to treat us like idiots and pretend that old shows are new shows. It’s also become easier for people to download their favourite US and UK shows within hours of them going to air, rather than waiting for local networks to get around to screening them.

As more and more viewers turn to the BitTorrent channel, Australian networks have come up with terms such as “fast-tracked” to convince us that we’re seeing foreign shows as soon as possible. Rather than waiting months or even years for new shows, now it’s more like days or weeks. Unfortunately the networks struggle to deliver on such promises.

Read the rest here.

Don’t those people from “Big Bang Theory” look like they’re having fun? I guess you wouldn’t know if they really are if you’ve never seen it. Heh.


  1. It’s astounding to me that the owners of this stuff don’t realize that they could make a lot more money off of it by (a) making it available in real time globally and (b) lowering the prices to what the market will actually bear. Instead we get stuff really late at inflated prices. I’m really no Friedmanite, but that they don’t see that they are creating their own black market for this stuff puzzles me.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! With Lost, Heroes and NCIS, the UK channels have been pretty good in the last season or so, showing it the same week it was aired in the US, or at least not more than two weeks apart. Two weeks I don’t mind waiting. It’s waiting MONTHS I don’t like. For instance, Dexter s4 started just a few weeks ago in the UK. In the US, s5 starts any day now (if it hasn’t already), which means we’re probably not going to get it over here until next summer. Gee, thanks…

  3. In Australia, we do get a lot of the high end British stuff . . . eventually. And whilst originally it was all courtesy of our national broadcaster, the ABC, it is now spreading a little wider so that repeats of the Vicar of Dibley are appearing on commercial HD channels. BUT, and it is a big but and probably sounds rude and absolutely no offence to our American programme makers . . . In their totally limited wisdom, the programme directors of commercial channels here wiill put mega-doses of crap like CSI (from each of the different cities like Miami etc), NCIS, Bones and others, or multi repeats of Two and a Half Men.
    We then have to rely on the ABC to EVENTUALLY show us series continuations of things like Spooks, Robin Hood, Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood, BBC costume dramas up to a year after the UK has seen them.
    There is a government policy that all networks, both national and commercial show a percentage of Australian made stuff, but it’s so small and shouldn’t have any effect on the good stuff they could be buying from the UK and Canada and from the excellent US producers of things like House and West Wing. The minds of the programme directors locally is a topic of much debate and confusion, I can assure you.

  4. Thankfully the ABC in Australia “fast-tracked” Doctor Who, but that’s it. They even streamed it from their website before it went to air. Aussie TV is obsessed with crime drama, there’s little else to watch. I don’t bother with the commercial stations anymore. They only fast-track rubbish. And the good shows that they do acquire are shown at odd and differing hours each week. I think Torchwood, for example, has been run on three different stations here since it began (it’s back on the ABC now). Without consistency and reliability, its no wonder folks turn to the internet.

  5. I have not watched regular broadcast or even cable tv in oh, probably three years.

  6. Marginally better off in Canada. BBCca seems to acquire British series a bit earlier than ABC or BBC US. And there is access to the US networks – House is running in “real time”, as was West Wing. Srike Back will be running in Nov. BUT it will probably be April before Spooks 9 arrives. In the meantime, we’ve been stuck with BBC The Survivors and a few other less-than impressive BBC series.

    And servetus, I so much agree with you about the long-delayed, overpriced DVDs. Spooks 8 has just been made available in Region 1, as part of a box set (1-8) for $118. Which is OK for the set, but I only want S8 just now….sorry to be picky….

  7. like very little on US television, only the news and history channels. I prefer UK films, so we order from AmazonUK.

  8. It’s mad isn’t it – and many of the players still don’t seem to realise, understand or even care what is going on. It’s a different world now.

  9. […] years late, but I’ll take it and hopefully it will lead to some relief of the frustration I vented earlier about the slow distribution of shows to other countries than their origin, and how this […]

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