On Monday night, one of this year’s most talked-about shows aired on HBO in the US.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about The Newsroom – the latest drama from Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and The Social Network.

The show focuses on reputably private news anchor, Will McAvoy, who loses his mind on a university panel when the MC goads him into revealing his political allegiances, and the corporate restructure that follow his public meltdown.

But that’s not the point. The point is that US cable channel HBO (Home Box Office) made the pilot episode available online on websites such as YouTube and Daily Motion in an effort to combat piracy, and lo and behold, it is still not available to Australians.

“Why is that?,” you ask. Because The Newsroom is due to air in Australia on Foxtel later this year on a new channel called “SoHo” which will replace the patronisingly named “W” channel. (Foxtel, by the way, is partly owned by News Ltd, publisher of The Punch).

When? I can’t tell you, but rumours say September.

Update, 10am June 29: Foxtel has confirmed to The Punch that The Newsroom is set to air in August.

So why the wait? Well, it could be that Foxtel wants to wait until it has the maximum number of eyeballs on their new channel – i.e after the Olympics. It could be that HBO has the exclusive first screening rights, but considering that it is making it available online to non-subscribers, I highly doubt it.

But here’s the thing: I’m sure Foxtel has some very precise data which tells them September is key, but there is an audience of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands that they are missing out on because last night they all headed to Pirate Bay to download the show, because it wasn’t made available anywhere for legal purchase.

In the US, HBO is reportedly making episodes of The Newsroom available on Apple TV the day after it airs on TV, as well as on Video-On-Demand channel, HBO GO, because HBO understands that people want to watch TV shows when it is convenient for them.

But Australians with Apple TV will not be able to access the show, because Foxtel wants us to watch it when it is convenient for them. I’d like to hear the rationale, because there’s a strong argument Foxtel will not benefit from that decision. People don’t wait. They download. And by not making TV shows like The Newsroom available on demand, Foxtel could lose part of its audience.

The very keen amongst us who are determined to find a way to pay for the TV show, grant Sorkin the royalties he is due and watch it without having to pirate can find work arounds like setting up a US iTunes but it’s very tricky, and not always guaranteed to work.

But did you know that trying to purchase a show from the US can have serious repercussions? PayPal has in the past limited the accounts of users who tried to purchase TV shows and films that are not yet available in Australia.

Whether or not it is actually illegal to purchase entertainment that is not available in the country is a grey area. Neither the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), nor the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), nor the Copyright Council or Tribunal could tell me whether it was illegal to use back-end workarounds to purchase foreign TV shows. But needless to say, it is frowned upon.

The point is the reviews are out now. People are talking about it all over the internet and in such a global age September is a long time to have to wait for a TV show. Can you imagine trying to avoid internet spoilers for two months?! It’s impossible.

Foxtel could actually be driving users to download and that could damage their brand and devalue the content they are withholding. That isn’t premium. It’s Freemium. Because people would rather break the law than wait, even when statistics show Australians would pay for content given the option.

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    • S.L says:

      05:59am | 27/06/12

      Not that I have any intention of watching “the Newsroom” but Aussie TV stations have been drip feeding us for years.
      Ok Foxtel isn’t perfect but thank god for it as we’ve been treated with contempt by free to air stations since 1956.
      Channel 9 is a great example. They’d buy up all major sports events then drip feed us as they saw fit .Other popular shows would be years old before we got them.
      Looks like nothing has changed…............

    • M. says:

      07:17am | 27/06/12

      You know what’s funny? Channel 10 downgraded it’s profit forcast for the year. I can’t help but think that if they put some half decent programming on, their revenues would sky rocket. It’s not as if they have any competition from 7 or 9.

    • Pedro says:

      09:56am | 27/06/12

      “Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and The Social Network.”
      I think Zuckerberg might have created the social network. Sorkin wrote a screenplay by the same name.
      I have already streamed the show and enjoyed it. It’s no Deadwood or Game of Thrones but it’s pretty good. Makes a mockery of shite produced here like Tricky Business and Being Lara Bingle. I feel bad for any tourist lobbing up to their hotel and flicking on the tv on to a FTA channel and getting confronted with the absolute crap that is made here.

    • TheRealDave says:

      10:18am | 27/06/12

      MySpace kicked off well before Facebook, but thanks for playing wink

    • Cobbler says:

      12:49pm | 27/06/12

      @Pedro - I think we can blame the Australian content laws for that.  Legislation dictates that Australian broadcasters have X% of their content be made in Australia.  This is why the make crap like ‘Being Lara Bingle’, because they can meet that requirement by spending very little real cash.

      I advocate getting rid of the protectionism nut whenever I state this to people, you’d be surprised how much they piss and moan about it, as if I was sactioning the burning of Blue Poles using baby koalas as kindling, but what quality programing does it actually protect?  The only Australian shows i watch are on the ABC.  The commercial channel Australian content is utter rubbish.

    • M says:

      06:19am | 27/06/12

      Foxtel needs to realise that one way or another, some people are going to get the content they want, and if they can’t pay for it they’re going to pirate it. Appealing to them through adds trying to guilt them into paying for their content is pointless if you don’t offer a way for them to pay for it in the first place.

      I have little sympathy for foxtel et al.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      04:31pm | 27/06/12

      One of the most annoying things about Foxtel is their fixed packages. I want ESPN for the NBA season ONLY. I do not want to pay for sports that I will NEVER watch. Movie channel, no. You’re not showing the movie i want to see. Comedy Channel, I don’t know, is Comedy Central on it?  What about HBO? Are they going to bleep Bill Maher because he said a naughty word? In addition, you’re still making me watch advertising. I thought the whole reason for having pay TV was to eliminate the ads. No, I will never get Foxtel.

    • Fiddler says:

      06:22am | 27/06/12

      Thank god for torrent sites. I would be more than happy to pay for the DVD’s of a show I like, but I mean for christs sake GoT season 1 only came out on DVD in March and the last episode was screened in the US what, last May?

      It’s almost like they want us to do it.

    • TimB says:

      08:27am | 27/06/12

      Yup. Many are the TV shows that I’ve chosen to acquire from American sources rather than subject myself to the month (and sometimes year) long waits our FTA networks see fit to inflict on us.

      Stargate was the show that sent me down this path many years ago. We were in the ridiculous situation of being nearly 2 seasons behind the US at one point.
      Even more absurd was the fact that the AFL states such as Victoria were even further behind than we were! Apparently in those states the timeslot frequently clashed with the televising of AFL matches, and thus episodes were constantly pushed back. They were still stuck in the middle of season 6 whilst we were watching the awesome season 7 finale.
      If the network can’t even keep schedules between individual states in line, it’s no wonder they’re too incompetent to figure out how to keep up with the Americans.

      They seem to have wised up somewhat in recent years, with many networks starting to push the whole ‘Straight from the US’ line in their advertising- But even then we usually still end up with a delay of about a week or so. Not good enough for some shows, and in this age of internet spoilers, sometimes even a few *days* is not good enough.

      Case in point- Channel 7’s boneheaded decision to air the Lost series finale two days after the Americans got it. I guarantee that every Lost fan in the country with a decent internet connection saw that episode before it aired here.

      So the torrenting genie is well and truly out of the bottle now, for me and many others. And generally the shows in question are ones that I will later purchase for my DVD collection, so I feel absolutely no guilt in this practice.
      The the people actually responsible for creating the content get their cut, and our FTA networks lose out on ratings and thus advertising dollars due to their thick-headed stupidity.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:13am | 27/06/12


      “We shouldn’t have to wait months for top US TV”

      We don’t have to at all, as we’ve been able to get these shows for free for years now, as soon as a new episode is out from torrent sites and in mere minutes. For this reason, I’m surprised people still even bother with foxtel, or even entertain the idea of watching commercial TV, which has always and will always be an entertainment backwater.

      Is the new season of Spartacus out yet? I don’t care, because I’ve already seen it all. Will do the same for the new season of Breaking Bad, and so on.

      I also agree with the purchasing of the DVD box sets and so forth if I’m a fan of the show and once these are released, usually a few years later. I don’t think we’d be in the minority amongst the downloaders in doing this TimB. Ultimately we all end up paying for the shows we like in any case, only on our own terms. As it should be.

    • Opi says:

      11:31am | 27/06/12

      I love how the downloaders say they will pay for the box set when it comes out.
      Sounds very suss to me. Let’s see, I downloaded the series, watched it, have it sitting on my multi terabyte hard drive and I’m going to go out and spend 50 to a 100$ buying it. out of some sense of ?????

      Yes, of course you are. That artwork must be very compelling.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      12:02pm | 27/06/12

      Opi - I have and I do. Because who the shit leaves a 2 year old TV show sitting on their hard drive?

      “I’m going to go out and spend 50 to a 100$ buying it. out of some sense of ?????” Oh I dunno, being a fan of the show… I’m not going to buy the DVD of everything I download, but definately stuff like Breaking Bad and Eastbound and Down. I bought the box set of the X Files also, when I could have downloaded them, because that show is the balls. I like it, and I know I like it because I’ve seen it, thus I purchased it. It’s not rocket surgery, and we don’t all just go out and buy it to make ourselves feel better about having downloaded it, otherwise that would defeat the purpose of downlaoding shows in the first place. I for one download them in order to address the very problem raised in the article, and that is I don’t want to wait weeks to a year to watch a show that is already out.

      I’m going to have a guess and say that you’re probably a foxtel subscriber and think that it is money well spent, or you’re content with watching the dregs on commercial TV and think it even rates.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      12:14pm | 27/06/12

      @Admiral Ackbar - because what you’re doing is illegal.  Some of us (although not many it seems) respect doing the right thing, even if it’s ‘inconvenient’.

    • M says:

      12:33pm | 27/06/12

      Opi, I’m a downloader and I’m not going to buy a copy of anything I download.

    • Cobbler says:

      12:42pm | 27/06/12

      I agree with Tim, Admiral and surprisingly you too Opi.  Most downloaders say they will buy the DvDs later but never do, and to be honest why would you?  When you can stream content over your wireless bridge from your PC to your TV by lazily waving your remote, why would you ever then revert to DvDs?  They just become a space wasting chore.

      The Best solution would be for me to wave my remote, pay 50c or $1 and stream the content then and there, and not just this 24 hour BS, I want to have the right to watch that episode as much as I want for my $1.  In reality it will only be 1-3 times anyway, so who cares?

      If someone implemented this kind of service in Australia it would make billions.  I wish I had the cash to try it myself…......

    • TimB says:

      12:46pm | 27/06/12

      @ Opi, Do you need to come around and check my DVD collection?

      I like having the phsycial disc. I like the fact that I can lend them out easily to introduce my friends and family to awesome shows. I like the fact that my collection isn’t in danger of being deleted from existence by a rogue virus or a hard drive failure. I like the cool bonus features such as outtakes and commentaries that come with the disc.

      If I truly enjoy a show I will *always* plump for the box set. Always.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      01:29pm | 27/06/12

      I agree with TimB and Admiral Ackbar. I downloaded Game of Thrones because that’s the only way I can watch it on my television without subscribing to Showtime. Then I bought the season 1 boxset, because the show is too good to not contribute something to, and I like the bonus features of DVDs like commentary and behind the scenes shiz.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:10pm | 27/06/12

      It being illegal is irrelevant. Laws like this are, for the most part, arbitrary. Smoking weed is also illegal, and so is speeding. I fail to see your point Arnold.

      I have the ability to go without having to wait weeks, months, or years for a form of entertainment that I am also willing to pay for, so I use this ability to download what I want to watch. That, and look at porn.

      It really is a blessing, because not only are there no adds ever, you don’t have to watch the end of any reality TV shows about crying fat people before getting to see your favourite show. You should try it. Like Fid says above, it is like they want us to do it in any case. In the time it takes to watch an episode of that show about a member of the Hutt family who wears a crevat and judges people on the food they cook for him, you can download an entire season of a show that is actually good.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      02:58pm | 27/06/12

      Arbitrary?  So you decide which laws are ok for you and which ones aren’t?  I’m not a fan of the way the current system works either but it’s the way it is.  The way to remedy it is to petition to change it rather than just cop out by ripping others off.  Look at what illegal downloading has done to music.  I’d be interested to hear perspectives on that.

    • TimB says:

      03:07pm | 27/06/12

      “....that show about a member of the Hutt family who wears a crevat and judges people on the food they cook for him,”

      Bwahahaha. Love it.

      They could probably make that show better by freezing the losers in Carbonite. smile

    • Ironside says:

      03:43pm | 27/06/12

      @arnold, the impact of illegal downloads of music was that companies like Apple realised there was a market out there that was being missed. So they simultaneously developed the original iPod and iTunes software to tap into this market. As a result actual legitimate sales for music have increased across the board and this has funded the development of new ipods, iphones and ipads, which have in turn led to the development of competing products and services. Without those illegal downloads companies would still be shipping out only hard copy product to bricks and mortar stores because they would have seen no demand and therefore no profit to be made from digital distribution.
      I don’t support illegal downloading but the fact is this is the way that people want to access their product, in a timely manner for a reasonable cost. The market has spoken it is up to the TV and movie industry to listen or fail.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      04:32pm | 27/06/12

      lol TimB Carbonite would make every show better.

      “Arbitrary?  So you decide which laws are ok for you and which ones aren’t?” - Yessir. For example, I break the arbitrary law regarding speed limits every day.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      05:01pm | 27/06/12

      OPI, I’m also firmly in the TimB, Admiral Akbar camp. I too d/l’d GoT Season 1. Two months ago, I picked up the Collectors Edition at JB. And will do the same when Season 2 is released. I’ve also bought all the books George R.R. Martin has written for the series so far released (Damn, how long must I wait for book 6 Arrrghh). So there is a healhty revenue contribution to the shows creators.
      Arnold Layne, time to get off the acid dude. Give it back to Emily so she can play. Civil disobedience has always been a powerful motivator of change. Hence the ipod revolution.
      Admiral Akbar quote ” Because who the shit leaves a 2 year old TV show sitting on their hard drive?”......Ahhh, me actually. it depends on what you mean. I have the original Battlestar Galactica (1976) series on my drive or 1966 Dr. Who. Or even 2011 AMC’s Walking Dead.Approximately 5000 hours of TV. No Ads.I have 2009 Daily shows still there too. (Loved the Jim Cramer interview, couldn’t bring myself to delete it.) but these are what make up my personal “repeats station” all the repeats I like, with none of the ads. Stuff GO and MATE.
      Cobbler: I purchase the DVD’s so that I can re-encode them myself and add them to my hard drive. Gets rid of the network logo watermark. All I do is tell the media player to select my entire TV show folder (approx. 1.6TB) and set it to play on random. Instant TV channel of repeats.with all the shows I like, all at the click of a mouse.

    • Opi says:

      07:06pm | 27/06/12

      I see,
      So when the copyright / piracy police show up at your digs, your defence will be:
      But officer I was gonna buy the box set,  ....  honest.

      Your excuses are lame and quite suss.
      But of course you can say anything you want in the online world.
      That doesn’t mean we have to believe it.

      Maybe your punishment will be a sentence in carbonite.

    • pete says:

      11:03pm | 27/06/12

      Why anyone would be big-noting their mad torrent skillz on a site owned by the parent company of a pay tv broadcaster that airs most of the shows they are downloading is beyond me.

      But props to you, brah.

    • TimB says:

      11:49pm | 27/06/12

      “So when the copyright / piracy police show up at your digs, your defence will be:
      But officer I was gonna buy the box set,  ....  honest.”

      Or I could just *show* them the box set, sitting on the shelf with the rest of my collection.


      “Your excuses are lame and quite suss.
      But of course you can say anything you want in the online world.
      That doesn’t mean we have to believe it.”

      It also means I don’t have to care what you believe. I know the truth and that’s what matters. I don’t have to prove squat to you.

      ...And why do I smell Badger poo again?

      @ Pete, pretty much all of the shows I get end up on FTA. Nothing to do with Foxtel.

    • acotrel says:

      07:15am | 27/06/12

      We could do worse than pipe all the UK BBC channels directly into Australian homes.

    • Chonko says:

      10:34am | 27/06/12

      My kids preferred viewing, for some years, has been UK made content.  The youngest prefers vintage (e.g. Sooty , Clangers) and the older ones more recent (e.g. Horrible Histories, Dr Who).  Here, we just can produce similar dross that the UK makes but we do not throw up any quality.  Bring on free to air UK channels and I might get to use some of the domestic bandwidth myself.

    • Craig says:

      07:19am | 27/06/12

      This is why I no longer watch television in Australia.

      Television stations do not have the right to decide what I can and cannot see or when I can see it.

      I have the money to pay to watch, so who are they to refuse to sell it to me.

      In a globally digitally enabled world, copyright should not be used by companies to punish paying viewers because they happen to be a smaller audience.

      There can now be 7 billion television channels, each customized to an individual.

      Any effort to restrict people from watching shows when they like, where they like - and distorting the meaning of ‘buying a program’ into ‘licensing a program to watch x times on y platform only, so we can resell it to you again and again’ - will fail. Spectacularly and publicly. Taking the careers of those executives responsible with it.

      Content is created. People wish to see it. Distributors need to address this need, not thwart it. If they address it well, they can profit from it. If they address it poorly, their businesses will fail.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      06:12pm | 27/06/12

      Agreed. Time and again network executives end up dictating the demise of a show by their scheduling and efforts to make us watch what they think we want to see. Many a good show has been cancelled due to falling ratings, but they don’t bother to look into why. They just assume that people got bored with the story. They never think the fact that it’s on 3 different times from week to week was the problem. Or that people stopped watching because of the previous shows “bracket creep” into their shows timeslot.
      How advertisers fall for the ratings they give these shows I don’t know. I tried to find out exactly how the ratings are taken: Phone calls, Neilsen boxes in trailer parks what? I couldn’t find any link that wasn’t just being completely vague about the whole thing.

    • KH says:

      07:25am | 27/06/12

      I never got into the whole GoT thing - I didn’t like the books much (well, the one and a half I read before I lost interest!), but I do know a lot of people who had all the episodes in pretty good quality long before the DVD came out here, and long before it was aired anywhere here. 

      I wonder what the figures would be if you had a pay TV channel that guaranteed to air new stuff within a day or two would be?  I wonder if they would actually generate business?  You can always repeat things later for the latecomers - but I’m guessing if they built it - a guarantee that there would be no waiting - the people would come….............

    • M says:

      09:10am | 27/06/12

      What do you usually read?

    • KH says:

      11:00am | 27/06/12

      M - Well, fantasy fiction isn’t usually my thing!  Im more into literature, history, biography…....if that was a serious question….............someone loaned me GoT books 1 and 2 - I just couldn’t get into it….........but hey, I tried….......

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:22am | 27/06/12

      “the one and a half I read before I lost interest”

      This was me also, the books were as boring as bat shit. The show is made somewhat more tolerable, but it’s still basically a drama series set in a fantasy world. I’m falling asleep just thinking about it.

      I do hope however, that this sets some kind of precedent for it to be ok to produce shows based on fantasy novels. Without turning them into crap dramas though. The Malazan series would be intense if done properly, and I’d like to see Chronicles of the Black Company, but I won’t hold my breath. It seems people are content watching movies and TV shows about lame boy wizards and sparkly vampires.

    • M says:

      11:39am | 27/06/12

      I’m reading the first one atm and I love it. Not for the fantasy part but for the political manourvering between all the parties. It’s awesome!

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      12:12pm | 27/06/12

      I was the same on the first one, and half way through the second M. A few of my mates enjoyed the whole thing though so don’t let me put you off hehe. I’m just more of a fan of reading about stuff that is actually happening in the world you’re reading about. For example, I dislike reading about some battle that took place through someones third hand account, which would have been totally awesome I’m sure had we been able to witness it in the book. To me that’s just lazy writing. The Malazan and Black Company books are the opposite of this. They still have their political manouvering and intrigue, but they also actually put the reader in battles that take place. This is something I also disliked about Robert Jordans Wheel of Time series. You were never in the action, just getting third hand accounts from other characters of how cool it would have been had we been there. That, and reading entire chapters about what some girls were wearing in their imagination land. ZzZzZZzzz.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      01:40pm | 27/06/12

      Foxtel actually showed Season 2 of GoT about a week after it was aired in the US so I didn’t mind waiting to watch it otherwise I probably would have downloaded it. 

      As for the books, I’ve almost finished book 4 and books 1 & 2 were by far the best at this stage.  Still woth reading though IMO.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:14pm | 27/06/12

      I may give it another go Wayne, I’m told it gets better again.

    • KH says:

      03:27pm | 27/06/12

      Well it GoT did start to get a bit boggy at the end of the second - my buddy has all of them up to book 5 - so maybe I can skim the end of 2 and try for 3…........hehehe Maybe the problem was the characters I liked kept dying!

    • Fiddler says:

      05:17pm | 27/06/12

      @ Wayne - the last one is incredible and leaves you with about six cliffhangers waiting to go. Wish he would hurry up and write the last two

    • Troy Flynn says:

      06:29pm | 27/06/12

      I didn’t read or know of the series of books until after the TV show’s first season, but I actually considered that an advantage as I now have an Actors facs to put to the names. Sure not all characters are depicted in the first season but so what. When the actress who plays Brienne in the second book first came onto the screen it was a case of “Wow, just like I pictured her.” But by the same token, when I first saw Stannis Baratheon my immeadiate thought was “He looks nothing like Robert, at least Renly looked like he was family.” Having Peter Dinklage and Maise Williams playing my two favourite characters makes reading the books easier. So much so that I finished all books up to the current one in two months. I haven’t read that voraciously in years.

    • Ironside says:

      08:04am | 27/06/12

      What is the penetration of Foxtel in the Australian Market really?

      My actual point though is that it is financially ignorant for entertainment companies to place artificial barriers to electronic distribution in an attempt to control retail sales. People will find a way of getting around those barriers in the case of creating a US iTunes account or they will ignore them and pirate the product.

      The argument of the entertainment industry for years against piracy is that if they were allowed to set up the business online that demand would set the price. Well I’m sorry to tell them that demand did set the price.

      Kim Dotcom, owner of a pirate website, who is currently on trial in New Zealand, made hundreds of millions of dollars selling pirate copies of pretty much everything. Now lets pause and look at this. People were willing to PAY for a pirate copy of their favourite TV show or movie and the man made close to a billion dollars in only a few years and he is only one of a number of websites doing the same thing.

      To me this indicates that the market has already set the price they are willing to pay for digital distribution of electronic content. I’m sure that if people are willing to pay for an illegal avenue to get the content they will pay just as much to get it legally.

      While the big entertainment companies insist on placing artificial barriers to electronic trade, while they attempt to region lock electronic distribution, while they try to stagger blockbuster releases across different regions, while they artificially inflate the prices of electronic sales so as to not undercut retail hard copy purchases they will continue to create an environment in which people, who for all other intents and purposes are law abiding citizens, will seek illegal methods of accessing the material. This prevents them from accessing potentially billions of dollars in revenue. They can not claim that the pirate bay type operations are stealing this revenue from them because they are not providing a viable alternative method for people to access the content.

    • Jack says:

      10:07am | 27/06/12

      You have absolutely no idea what megaupload was or how it worked.

    • Ironside says:

      10:39am | 27/06/12

      @Jack Actually I do, since i was a legitimate customer of megaupload, and the fact is for all the fig leaf of legitimate service that sites like Megaupload, fileserve, rapidshare, filesonic or any one of half a hundred others that you access using a client like jdownloader provide, the fact is the vast majority of the bandwidth usage of these sites, which you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access, was for peer to peer transfer of copy write material.

      The Lawyers can argue the semantics of if the service provider is responsible for what users do on the service he provides but be honest with yourself. hundreds of thousands of people (millions of people if you include other sites) were willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for premium access to a service that would allow them to download Copt write material at the fastest rate possible.

      That is the market setting how much it wants to pay. If people were not willing to pay the amount then Kim Dotcom would never have made a cent and FBI wouldn’t be chasing him for hundreds of millions of dollars of lost Hollywood revenue.

    • Uhum says:

      07:56pm | 27/06/12

      Actually Ironside, you don’t have a clue what megaupload. was about.
      Doubt you ever used it.

    • M says:

      08:17am | 27/06/12

      Commercial Youtube will kill television.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      06:42pm | 27/06/12

      I’m not so sure, if I hit a paywall, I’ll be reaching for the “Back” button. I also usually stop the Youtube videos that start with an ad embedded and look elsewhere.

    • Better things to worry about... says:

      08:22am | 27/06/12

      If not being able to watch a tv show when you want is your biggest concern today, you are one of the lucky ones.

      Can you say “first world problem”??

    • Jack says:

      10:12am | 27/06/12

      Yeah, that opening sentence of THIS IS THE BIGGEST CONCERN IN MY LIFE TODAY was really misleading.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:25am | 27/06/12

      You clearly have so many better things to worry about that you took the time to make your irrelevant comment on an article that you think is a waste of time. Can you say ‘derp’?

    • AJ says:

      08:44am | 27/06/12

      I collect a lot of tv series and would much rather pay for it than pirate it but it can be very frustrating waiting for a show that i follow to air over here. Why should paying for an episode from apple tv from the us be any different than buying a dvd from amazon?

    • Phil says:

      09:15am | 27/06/12

      Here, Hard work done.


      Cant remember the last time I actually followed a TV show on FTA or Foxtel here, so many changes to when they decide they will show it and then changing time slots.
      Makes it hard to follow if you travel etc.

    • Steve says:

      09:15am | 27/06/12

      Oh boo-hoo!  Are you really complaining that a TV series is shown legally in Australia a couple of months after the US sees it?

      Call the UNHRC!  Soe one somewhere must care!

    • M says:

      09:45am | 27/06/12

      Dude, have you actually watched free to air? I wouldn’t inflict that on asylum seekers or prisoners of war.

    • Fiddler says:

      11:33am | 27/06/12

      If they showed Home and Away in the detention centres I think we would have more boats going back to Indonesia

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      12:21pm | 27/06/12

      Get this: People still watch it. Voluntarily. I’m not even being sarcastic, it literally blows my mind.

      Anyway, according to Steve here we shouldn’t ever be allowed to discuss anything unless it has to do with human rights or the third world. You must be a blast at parties Steve.

    • M says:

      12:57pm | 27/06/12

      Sounds like a case of white man’s guilt to me admiral. What would you prescribe?

      Also, you’re not know by the name of “murph” somewhere else are you?

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:23pm | 27/06/12

      No M, this is the only site on which I have time to spread my whacky ideas and questionable opinions.

      Saying sorry to any brown people I see usually works for my white guilt.

    • Condor says:

      09:15am | 27/06/12

      I don’t wait for TV. I torrent things, too. So much so that I can justify not having foxtel.

      I don’t care what the networks say or how much they whinge, their business model is dead. They need to partner with these overseas television stations and upload the content on their own website for downloading by Australians. That way they can claim some advertising revenue from the site because my eyeballs won’t be on their screens.

      Advertising will change, too. It will become product placement and ghosting across the screen embedded within the TV show that you download.

      It’s time for networks to wake up and adapt or be left behind like so many other industries that failed to wake up.

    • Simon Of The Internet says:

      09:33am | 27/06/12

      With the success of Louis CK’s and Aziz Ansari’s recent comedy shows they produced on their own and sold directly through their website, I wonder how long it will be until we see production companies bypassing television altogether and selling shows directly to people online?

    • M says:

      09:44am | 27/06/12

      Or, directly to youtube?

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:49am | 27/06/12

      The Guild wink

    • Student says:

      11:28am | 27/06/12

      Like a lot of YouTube channels already do? Or sites like BlisteredFingers, ThatGuywiththeGlasses et al? Nothing new there buddy!

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:43am | 27/06/12

      I have approx 6TB of TV shows on my home server. You name the popular show that’s been on in the past 10 years, or more, and I probably have every ep. I did download, and thoroughly enjoy, Newsroom. I download via USENET, because Torrrents are for nubs…but I digress, at least 10 shows a week, sometimes up to 15 (its off season in the US at the moment so I am down to about 7 shows a week now - btw try Continuum excellent new sci-fi show). I also download a crap load of Doco’s that have never been aired in Oz and in all likelyhood never will be.

      We had a Premium Foxtel sub and did have it since the magic cable was run past our house in the 90’s. Originally it was great for a lot more content and bugger all ads, after all that was the point wasn’t it? Paying a monthly fee so we got less ads?? I cancelled my package, which had grown to cover IQ2 and 3 different rooms about 3 years ago now because I was sick to death of the bloody ads which were getting as bad as FTA TV and I was downloading content off the net which was still months ahead of Foxtel and in most cases actually YEARS ahead.

      So screw them! Both Foxtel and FTA! I want to watch the latest content, not ‘rushed’ a weekor two later if its a big name show or more likely months later or not at all. I want it that night and I can get it in HD quality as well with the generous broadband caps we now enjoy. My missus and I kinda like kicking the kid to bed and curling up on the couch to watch the latest eps from the Mentalist, Bones, NCIS etc one after the other in a time and place of OUR choosing. Most times we watch them the night they come in but if we are busy or out and about we set it up to watch about 7 eps back to back ad free. We don’t want to be held to ransom by the networks that shift programs all over the place including late at night, show repeats, go missing for weeks or months on end etc So again, I say, wholeheartedly and with a depth and meaning they cannot possibly fathom - screw you!

      FTA has been horribly out of step with reality and technology for over a decade now and now Foxtel has joined them. Quite frankly you’re a complete nub if you are paying for a premium package for anything other than live sport nowadays…and even then I do know of a number of overseas based sites that do stream live Australia sporting events…and conversely I can watch a LOT of live overseas sport and I have really gotten into College Football in the US lately, but again I digress…

      You would think if the people that own/run the FTA networks and Foxtel that IF they were smart, and going on the evidence you would have to say overwhelmingly they are not, that they should be, if they had any nous at all, rubbing their sweaty little mitts with glee come the NBN rollout. Once that magic cable starts getting into homes they should be pouring their money and development time into services like a Neflix type service where they can delvier high quality digital content all over the country to consumers where and when they want it - for a fee, a subscription, cost per episode - whatever you like. People WILL buy into it - as long as the content is fresh and timely. They’ve all seen the stats on how much people like I download, the market is HUGE for it and the first ones that get in and do it properly are deadset going to kill the FTA and PayTV market as they are now.

      But they’re too stupid to look beyond the next ratings period…which is why they are being left behind. Technology has passed them, viewing habits have changed. All they can do is pout and whine and hide their broken model behind bullshit lawsuits that, at the end of the day, have not stopped a single TV episode from being downloaded - and never will.

      Anyways, So far this week its been: S2 Ep3 Falling Skies, Ep5 Continuum, Ep1 Newsroom, Trueblood S5Ep3,  Eureka S5Ep10 tonight, Ep5 Tron Uprising, Rizzoli and Isles S3Ep4 (for the missus…honest!) and Charlie Sheens new show Anger Management comes out Friday so I’m set.

      But I still won’t touch the new series of Dallas…..

    • Emma says:

      10:06am | 27/06/12

      Your exactly right “TherealDave” on an average Peak week in the US i can watch 20 shows, at the moment im down to about 5 which i would happily pay for but there is just no opportunity. The worst was revenge they kept advertising saying it was direct from the Us but it was actually 2 months behind.

    • Marc says:

      10:22am | 27/06/12

      On the sport thing, instead of watching Channel ten’s coverage of MotoGP i download a BBC copy of the race. Reason? No adds.

      So channel 10, you’ve lost another viewer due to your fixation with putting ads on every 50 seconds.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      12:18pm | 27/06/12

      So how do you suggest Channel Ten funds having the rights for the Moto GP?  I don’t like ads either but we have to accept that everything comes at a cost.  Running a TV station isn’t cheap.

    • david says:

      12:53pm | 27/06/12

      I source my content through legal means - paying for download or purchasing the hardcopy. I see it as my contribution to the creators and producers as well as the cast and crew. These talented people can then use the profit of my purchase to reinvest in future quality productions.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      01:54pm | 27/06/12

      Bang on, mate. Unless something similar has been rolled out in Australia, when the NBN arrives I’ll be setting up a US VPN and a Netflix subscription. Setting up small devices to play Netflix content through a TV is fairly trivial, and then we can watch what we want, when we want, for a grand total of less than $20 a month. All via the internet.

    • Chris Edwards says:

      10:03am | 27/06/12

      I personally don’t download TV shows or movies anymore - my morals changed on the matter, but that is my choice.
      However, I am more than happy to search around YouTube for specific channels to load up episodes of TV shows that I like and I have no qualms buying DVDs of TV series from anywhere in the world - it took less than 10 minutes to convert my Region 4 DVD player into a region-free one.
      That is the fundamental problem with FTA networks (and Foxtel) in Australia - they haven’t accounted for the fact that the consumers operate in a global entertainment economy. This is where the TV networks in Australia are falling over - I can watch episodes of whatever I want far earlier than others in Australia, because I can watch it on YouTube. I can also buy whole TV series from other countries YEARS before those episodes broadcast in Australia - for example, 11 has only just caught up to Season 8 of the Office (US). There was a while there where Channel 10 were sitting on the show and I was 1 and a half seasons ahead of the rest of Australia.
      TV networks need to realise that time-shifting is the way people want to watch TV… they need to embrace it, not fight it

    • Anjuli says:

      10:10am | 27/06/12

      I have given up waiting for Daniel Graig’s My Friends up North to air , my niece from England , told me about it a few years ago . There are other shows which she tells me are excellent which have been on British TV,  don’t know if it was Skye ,as I am told British TV is shocking.

    • Katie says:

      10:34am | 27/06/12

      People still watch TV in Australia?

      Why bother? The only channel I watch free-to-air is SBS, for the news.

      I ended up torrenting Sherlock because we weren’t going to get it until a few months after the UK. I didn’t feel bad either… I don’t pay for my free-to-air television, I don’t pay for my torrents. That being said, I also bought the DVDs of the series because I liked it so much.

      ... From overseas because they were way too expensive in Australia.

      If free-to-air isn’t going to play what I want, then I won’t watch it. Besides, no annoying ads in torrents.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      10:36am | 27/06/12

      I have yet to see Mad Men 5.  And have managed to escape “spoilers”. Eventually I will get around to seeing it.

      Seriously is this a problem? Its a TV drama at the end of the day.

      But its good to know that one thing has remained unchanged in Australia.  We are shite and everyone is desperate to be the first here to have seen/read something from the UK/US because that is where culture/entertainment is.

      Not very different from Asians who install a dish that is permanently pointed towards their homelands.

    • AFR says:

      11:54am | 27/06/12

      Season 5 is the best yet.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      12:51pm | 27/06/12

      Thanks for hat-tip!

      I shall savour it then…slowly.

    • Spoiler Alert says:

      02:02pm | 27/06/12

      Don Draper gets cancer,
      Peggy Olsen gets hit by a bus and almost dies
      Roger gets married again and Joan Harris has breast reduction surgery.

      Did I miss anything?

    • SadFaceSad says:

      11:08am | 29/06/12


    • Muggles says:

      10:55am | 27/06/12

      I don’t think we’ll miss anything with the Newsroom.

      By almost all accounts, its even preachier than the first few seasons of the West Wing.

      And more sanctimonious, blunt and obvious than the miserable Studio 60.

      Sorkin needs to leave his politics behind, and concentrate on story and character.  But he can’t.  He’s just too arrogant, and his shows suffer for it.

      (Even the most ardent left winger must appreciate good storytelling over propaganda. Surely?)

      And Sorkin keeps managing to make shows after the ratings and financial disaster of Studio 60, is beyond me.

    • Bob says:

      11:05am | 27/06/12

      I really think that the ratings system in this country must be seriously faulty ! I mean how many cop/crime shows do we need to air here each week ? And I saw an ad last night for yet another NEW crime show !!! Grrrrrrr !!!

      I love docos, and I love actual real crime docos (not NCIS CRAP), history docos etc so my fix there gets met by SBS and sometimes Aunty, but otherwise I download.

      TV shows, well as mentioned here you soon get sick of the ad break every 4 minutes, ruins a show. Also for some reason TV stations seem to think that because of Easter for some reason shows are suspended because of easter ?? or school holidays then certain shows must be suspended becauise according to them no one in Oz watches TV during school hols.

      The same movies played by a station over and over again, I am sure I own a bigger movie selection than any of the TV stations (actual legal copies too). Why do they insist on playing the same movie over and over ? For instance Chnl 10 must have the record for playing “About A Boy” with Hugh Grant, not a good movie and definitely doesnt deserve to be shown over and over.

      TV Series like The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond etc etc, these shows were made over many years but somehow our TV stations seem to be unable to play them in date order. The simpsons for example you can see many episodes twice in a period of a month. And this is being repeated (bad pun) with The Big bang Theory.

      Unless Television stations start to wake up, stop pouring out the same garbage, stop flooding our airwaves with rediculous cop/crime shows, stop thinking that every Australian wants to watch sport every day, and start listening to people then I will happily source my entertainment online.

    • Change Up! says:

      11:06am | 27/06/12

      It’s not just TV shows. I was recently waiting for a book to be released. The day came in early June, I went to order it online for download on my Kindle, only to be told it won’t be available in Australia until November.

      I went to the Author’s website, and it mentioned publishing rights and yada yada yada, and I understand that publishers would want to see how a hardback/paperback sells in the US before they commit to printing it in other countries, but a DIGITAL book? I couldn’t believe it. It costs bugger all to publish online compared to hardcopy books. Surely releasing the digital copies world wide would be more beneficial than holding out.

      Also, a movie has just come out in America called “Seeking a friend for the end of the world” that at the moment has no release date for Australia. It’s not some little indie film, either. By the time it comes out in Oz, everyone who would wnat to see it would probably have downloaded it as it would be on DVD in America.

      Producers of media need to realise that these days, it doesn’t matter if they want to limit distribution for whatever convoluted reason they come up with. If people want something, they will find it. The world isn’t as it used to be and Australia certainly isn’t the isolated island we once were.

    • Baloo says:

      11:44am | 27/06/12

      Tricky Business
      Packed to the Rafters
      Winners and Losers

      These are the kind of shows that will fill the skies when the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse crash on to the Earth. Seriously it’s either these kind of shows or reality shows I ever see advertised, I’m guessing TV networks fill their channels with em’ because they must be cheap to make maybe?

      I just bought the first season of Game of Thrones a couple of weeks back and was hoping to buy the second, only to find out it probably won’t be available for purchase until sometime in 2013! WTF? I can’t wait that long it’s too good!

    • renold says:

      12:34pm | 27/06/12

      Wonderful, a recommendation to watch another US tv show, which means I wont be watching it. Afterall lots of people seem to think that sex and the city was groundbreaking tv.

    • M says:

      02:19pm | 27/06/12

      Why would you avoid a show just because it’s made in freedom land?

    • AFR says:

      02:54pm | 27/06/12

      For some reason M’s comment remonds me of a line from My Name is Earl’s Catalina talking about the US as being: “the land of the free and home of the slaves”.

    • SLF says:

      12:54pm | 27/06/12

      You have to be pretty desperate to need to watch a TV show airing in another country, where you dont know anyone, through pirated means because you have to wait a few months for it to appear in Aus.

      What are you missing out on? It is not like it is a live never to be repeated event, it is a TV series and unless you are dim beyong belief it is pretty easy to avoid spoilers.

      My theory is that you have to have instant access as some sort of social network snobbery so you can get on Twatter an Tweet to Twats about how hip you are becacuse you are ‘like OMG i’m watching GOT and like its not our for 3 months #TyrionRulezzzz”

    • TimB says:

      02:14pm | 27/06/12

      “You have to be pretty desperate to need to watch a TV show airing in another country, where you dont know anyone,”

      This is where your post falls down. I know plenty of people overseas. Many heavy internet users do. And no, I’m not talking about random Facebook friends or garbage like that. I’m talking about people that you communicate with on a daily basis. The internet is filled with messageboards and the like with people from all over the world.

      And those same people invariably discuss the latest shows online. And it’s only natural for people here to want to be a part of that discussion. Why deliberately hold off for months to see a favoured show, when most everyone else has moved on? When you could instead watch it when it releases & discuss it with people right then.

      It’s not about snobbery or desperation, it’s about a sense of community and talking about things that you like with other similar minded individuals.

    • SLF says:

      03:10pm | 27/06/12

      TBH TimB I am a member of a few forums dotted around the place where the odd GOT or TV thread will pop up. The trick is either put some spoiler code in there or avoid the thread.

      It really isn’t that big a deal if I am a few weeks behing on GOT. It really doesn’t mean that I have to download illegally, because in all honesty it isn’t that important. I certainly don’t feel that I am missing out on anything or feel that my ability to have a discussion is restricted.

      Does it matter what people on forums think of a show so much it has to be dicussed immediately?

    • SimpleSimon says:

      03:18pm | 27/06/12

      “#TyrionRulezzzz” I lol’d.

      Otherwise, I think you miss the point. The issue is that there is no reason we should have to wait the few months. That the torrent community can make something available online within hours of being aired should be a wake up call to the entertainment industry that their old business model is no longer satisfactory to consumers.

      In my opinion, the concept of scheduled TV is itself outdated and will go the way of the dodo. Netflix style video on demand over IP will be the future, but again content needs to be released simultaneously worldwide.

    • SLF says:

      04:08pm | 27/06/12

      SimpleSimon…i get the point thet the model has to change and will change. And I would download stuff legally, I already pay for Foxtel.

      I just dont get the desperation and need to watch something immediately that is screening half a world away. So much so that you have to dl it ilegally.

      Surely people have bigger things to worry about? Will my or anyone’s life be different if i get to watch Mad Men at the same time as America or in a couple of months? Probably not. I’d still enjoy the show, i’d still get the same amount of entertainment from it.

    • TimB says:

      04:12pm | 27/06/12

      But SFL many people don’t *want* to avoid those threads. They want to be part of the discussion too.

      Why should they be limited to their own countrymen when discussing such things? And simply because the local networks can’t get off their butts and air the show in a timely fashion. Ridiculous.

      I understand that you may be okay with such things. But the bulk of the discussion usually takes place upon the initial airing, and people want to be involved in that whilst it’s all still fresh.

    • L A BORE says:

      03:38pm | 27/06/12

      we want old USA programs and not new USA programs

    • AdamJ says:

      07:20pm | 27/06/12

      If I couldn’t download stuff I just wouldn’t watch any TV shows and I probably wouldn’t have bought the DVD’s for the ones that I have either.  If a show is good and I really enjoy it, i’ll buy it.  If it’s mediocre then I won’t, simple as that.

      It’s my opinion that the FTA networks in Aus have brought this on themselves.  They have treated viewers with contempt for years.

    • JulesG says:

      03:59pm | 29/06/12

      No,no,no and no! We don’t want anything from Yankland thank you.


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