This week in TV.

I’m a huge TV person. Not so much that I actually follow the shows on TV. Also I’m not a huge fatass, well maybe I’m a little chubby arond the belly… Anyway. I download alot of shows. I pay my license fee damnit (a cost every swede with a TV has) and I see it as a free pass for downloading every show that’s aired on Swedish TV, regardless of country of origin. This is ofcourse more a philosophic approach than a legal one, as it’s probably illegal.

Episodes are normally held back for months from their American airings before they get broadcast here in Sweden. This is ofcourse for various different reasons. The major one seems to be the inefficient distribution deals and set-ups various channels and production companies have with their overseas partners. As well as the buyers wanting to get the shows for a cheaper cost. Hell, who’s going to do anything about it? It’s not like the viewers can get their content from somewhere else right? Turns out they can. From a little thing called the Internet.

Sometimes shows are captured and released by various groups on the internet well before they air on the west coast, which is 3 hours behind the east coast, obviously. How is it that a relatively small network of nerds with home electronics can do something major companies seem unwilling or unable to do? Sure they save a little money in the short term by withholding content for periods of time, but in the long run people will find other avenues of distribution. This ofcourse doesn’t mean that the companies have to lose money. The could set up alternative revenue streams. So far this hasn’t happened.

Not in any big way. Sure iTunes and Google Video are offering downloads of shows and other video content. But the pricing is as with the music way too high. 99 cents per song is in my view about double of what the sweet spot would be. A downloaded album shouldn’t cost more than 1/3 of any full price CD. What would be the point if I have to pay 2/3 of full price and then not get something I can actually misplace? Multiply this pricing problem a couple of times and you have the TV section. With prices for a new season ranging from somewhere around $34.99 to $39.99 that’s about twice of what I’m willing to pay.

And thus ends this episode of Ranting Theatre. Tune in next week when I take on mashed potatoes.


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