HBO, NBC, ABC, FOX – PLEASE Take My Money!

I have a very simple request. I want to see good content – and I am willing to pay for it. But the guys who own the content are not willing to take my money. Some will call it strategy – I call it bad business.

I love to watch Heroes, Weeds, The Wire, and Prison Break. I don’t care about the zillion channels offered by the local cable companies. No, not even the Turkish, Kurdish and Russian ones. They have a VOD platform, but they still want me to pay for additional 73 channels, when I just want to watch my favorite shows. My local provider asks me for more than 50$ per month to access this content legally.

I am willing to pay for my favorite shows – $10 per month, as long as I can do it in a simple way (Amazon style). I also don’t have any problem to download it to my computer or watch it online.

ALAS! I can’t. Just can’t. All these shows are online, with full episodes – but because I am not located in the US, I can’t see them.

Unless I use Bittorent or Stage6. Meaning – unless I steal it.

So what do we have here:

1. A customer who is willing to pay

2. A content provider that is crying about piracy

3. A technology that enables the content creator to provide the content to the customer

And the missing link:

4. Big media thinking, that prevents me from watching my favorite shows legally.

Not that smart isn’t it?

How can we change it? Nothing like the good old civilian action to make a change.

If you want to join the struggle to free online prime time TV shows, please:

1. Link to this post

2. Leave a comment on this post stating your support

3. Join the Facebook group and cause (you can send me an email if we are not connected in Facebook)

4. Send emails to all the people you know in NBC, ABC, FOX and such and make them aware of this cause.

Together we will make sure that I can pay to watch my favorite shows!


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12 Responses to “HBO, NBC, ABC, FOX – PLEASE Take My Money!”

  1. 1 November 27, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    OK. I admit it. I am a thief. As a media-savvy American living in Paris for the past 8+ years, I simply must have my TV, so…Bittorrent for me, and for well over 3 years now. It isn’t that I am a TV addict — evenings at home do NOT mean the pleasant buzz of the tube happily lolling through the air (unless the Missus and I are watching a move, that is, on DVD) — but the shows I love I…well, LOVE, and I won’t be without them. House, Law & Order (all three of ’em), Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy (OK…I don’t LOVE that…but the girls are HOT…guilty pleasure), The Wire, The Shield…can’t do without ’em. So would I pay a reasonable fee to watch them online, despite the fact that I am so used to having them at a cost of 0.00? Damn straight I would! C’mon, US networks…let’s get the (global) shows on the road!

  2. 2 Majento November 28, 2007 at 12:41 am

    I support this message!

  3. 3 Hagai Pipko November 28, 2007 at 12:44 am

    totally agree.
    i don’t have “yes” nor “hot” at home but 3 parabolic antennas with a few decoders and a satellite card for pc (my bro. and father are freaks of that) a few thousands of channels and i still have only few normal us channels. so i “have” to use emule, rapidshare etc…

    i don’t have much time to watch “tv” so when i do have i want to be able just to click one button and to see the movie like in dvd, without all the searching, checking, downloading, codecs problems etc…and i am ready to pay for that.


  4. 4 Lisa November 28, 2007 at 2:11 am

    I whole-heartedly agree and sympathize with you, Kfir. I tried changing my ways and getting my fix of Heroes legally by signing up for Hulu but after receiving an invite to join last week, I found out that like the major networks’ sites, you have to be in the U.S. to view that content.

    My recent take on this is that the major networks know about the demand for their shows abroad but because of the way show and advertising contracts work, the networks have to deal with a lot of legal work for each show individually to be able to get the content out and in a profitable manor. Unfortunately those in other countries, right now they’re still learning how to get it right in the U.S.

  5. 5 scottwitter November 28, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Yes the same shit in Canada.

    You know of course that the big media companies are trying to find ways to shut everyone else down?
    In Canada the government has allowed broadcasters to become huge out of control monolithic corporations that swallow up all competition.

    I think we need to bring awarness to places on the net like TilsyTV, blipTV, Revver, Vimeo, and all other content hubs and have one place that people can find high quality, high value video productions on the web, and HD shows.

    I too want shows to watch on my cinema display, i want HD shows to watch from RSS feeds, finding shows is a cluster FK!

    I am wanting to do a show in toronto about this topic, i just pitched it, and was rejected by broadcasters ha ha ha!!! yes i actually did it.

    Educate the public where to find good internet shows, educate TV writers that they have the power to create their works without broadcasters, get the eyeballs to the web and away from the broadcasters shows, and eventually hopefully the old guard will fall by the wayside.

    Look at the writers strike in the US, some of those guys have been blogging and doing small comedy skits at the same time, and it is telling how good they are when i think that they could easily have their own successful shows on the web, with their own sponsors.

    We live right now in a Two Box world, and a two box mentality, perpetuated by big media themselves scaring people and telling them that their are two separate experiences and that people do not want to watch TV on the computer, and the monitors are horrible.

    They do not want people to know that internet shows can be watched on HDTVs with the same ease as connecting a digital recorder or DVD player.

    BTW if you have a computer with a decent video card and want to drive an HDTV at 1080P i would reccomend a Toshiba. After an hour of research at my local Big box electronics store testing all the TV’s with my MacBook Pro the best connection was the Toshiba because it has a dual scanning mode 60Hz and 120Hz, TVs that only scan at 60Hz can only be driven in 720P which for a computer monitor is too small but fine for TV, the toshiba auto detects the input at 120HZ the macBook Pro graphics card could drive the monitor at 1080P, the TV now acts as a decent computer monitor via DVI – HDMI cable and an HDTV playing internet content.

  6. 6 Daniel November 28, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I don’t see this working for TV as they make too much money and employ too many people selling their shows and formats round the world to TV channels.

    Why would HBO bother with your micro-payment when they can sell a package to Hot or whoever?

    Nevertheless, I think the model does work when it comes to music. I would gladly pay a significant increase to my ISP for a broadband service that I can no longer live without. That extra payment could then be distributed to record companies in the same way that radio stations distribute royalties. Then I would download all my music for free from the artists’ sites but only in exchange for demographic information (location, age, gender, no. of kids) which could be used to accurately target me for ads for peripherals like concert tickets in my area or band T-shirts in my children’s sizes.

  7. 7 Annika Lidne November 29, 2007 at 1:32 am

    I’m with you all the way, Kfir.

    It’s the same problem in Sweden. Yeah, we might get the US shows on the telly – eventually. Like a year later. A YEAR!

    Another example: I wanted to buy an audiobook by a favourite author – and I truly want to support his great writing. So, I went to Amazon. Great, they had it with a link to Audible. I signed up, suffering through an entirely too long process where I had to give out my credit card number (no PayPal there) only to find out I’m in the bloody WRONG COUNTRY – for a download over the internet. Hello???

    So, I tried with Amazon UK. Didn’t have the download just the CD’s. And what do i need them for? iTunes! I thought. Great, I found it – only to be disappointed again. Can you guess? Yeah, wrong bloody country.

    It’s insane that you have to be in a specific country to download content legally! Or do Sweden (Israel, Australia….) need to become the 51st state in order for us to consume legal content?

  8. 8 Audrey December 2, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Count me in! Everyone is whining about piracy and I know lot’s of expats like me willing to pay a fair price for reliable, legal online American entertainment.

  9. 9 Kfir Pravda December 2, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for the support everyone – I am looking for new ways to spread the word – what’s your suggestions?

  10. 10 Iain December 9, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Thank God there are other people around who have similar views. This is what the WGA strike is pushing for, but we’ll have to pay for it. I wonder whether that will mean that we WILL actually get access to it? Has anyone tried to get access to Season 2 of SWAT who DOESN’T LIVE IN THE US? These “wonderful” CEO’s of WB, FOX, CBS, USA Network and Sci-FI (US) live in their trendy ivory towers-are they gold plated? and have NO IDEA to make money ie increase revenue. If you think you can access this technology-you’re right, but if you want to be the last place on Earth to access it, come to Australia, where even our PAY TV networks lump this in the TOO HARD basket. If PAY TV did its job worldwide we would be able to do this for say a set fee of $20/month where the CUSTOMER could select what channels worldwide s(he) wanted to watch rather than as I assume the Australian setup would work if they had the balls to try it, by forcing people onto the Platinum package at $106/month and then charge the fees to access the above stations on top of this. Why is this pay TV setup available to NZ residents ie Sky Sports and not Australian? I can just see these CEO’s EXPECTING people to go over to Hawaii and access it in the hotel rooms there. Of course I am yet to find out whether they would cap how much you could download, or whether they would give you a media player to do it with. Itunes in the UK have started to offer this service, supposedly because they can make some money out of it! Unfortunately, in Australia the time has well and truly passed to buy a friend a Season Download pass for Christmas, so the only alternative is to set up a similar service on one’s own and maybe all the part owners can share in the profits, but would the dimwits who provide the service in the US allow it? Their DRM’s are too precious. So why hasn’t someone sued them for discriminating against the ROW-Rest of World customers? Maybe that might sidetrack their blinkered vision. Of course the networks LOVE this kind of talk. A similar post was placed on Yahoo Australia and deleted because it might give people ideas of just what is capable with the internet. I wonder whether it is the same bureaucrats who go on worldwide fact finding missions which could quite happily be done from home through teleconferencing. I guess we’re all supposed to think how wonderfully Third World and third rate the lack of these services are because some CEO is too tired to open up his/her blinkered vision. Will it be next century before such blinkered vision is uncovered or will we be fed more massive lies like the whole 9/11 story was, when the Twin Towers had been reported as having collapsed even though were shown to be still intact over a reporter’s shoulders? Or perhaps these CEO’s act like banks and will want to charge for free services in future. We can only wait, they say, but what about those who won’t? It’s all too hard for those who are paid excessive amounts to do not enough work. At least one such provider is sending similar E-mails around their staff to see what can be done and from that viewpoint, Reeltime win my praises. As they have outlets in NZ perhaps all is not lost…yet!

  1. 1 loudhail » Hello?! Paying customer here! Hello!? Anybody? Trackback on November 29, 2007 at 10:00 am
  2. 2 What iTunes Taught Me About The Future of VOD And Illegal Content « Pravda on Media, Technology, and Rebel Filmmaking Trackback on June 5, 2008 at 11:08 am

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