TV Shows Are Our Favourite BitTorrent Downloads

TV Shows Are Our Favourite BitTorrent Downloads

Here’s the least shocking survey result of all time: the main thing Australians like downloading illegally via BitTorrent is TV shows. And while we claim we’d be happy to pay for a legal service, it turns out we wouldn’t want to pay much.

A survey of 7,324 Aussies by found that “I’ll have to wait too long to see it on TV” was the most common reason for downloading shows, and that most people who downloaded TV did so regularly. While almost 40 per cent said they’d be willing to pay $1 an episode for TV downloads, almost as many said they weren’t prepared to pay anything at all.

We’ve examined the issue of how to fund Channel BT before, but it’s not clear that paying even $1 a pop would fund TV production as we currently know it. Hit the link for the other survey results.

Top three reasons we choose illegal downloads []


  • If the main reasons for using Channel BT is because of the delay from airing overseas to it been made available to use here in the land of OZ AND not wanting to be tied to the scheduling decisions of the stations, I can’t see why ad supported streams wouldn’t be reasonable.

    Although the argument would then be people skipping the ads (personally, they’re a great excuse for a cup of tea of toilet break), we would probably see a greater reliance of product placement in program.

    I think the important point would be able to provide a variable pricing model.

    The idea would be able to provide people with the ability to download individual episodes (so we could test the waters), but provide a “bulk” purchase for seasons and even the entire series.

    It might even be possible to provide a “ad-less” verity at a high cost to the ad’ed version.

    I think the goal would be to provide a number of choices to people so that they don’t feel tied in and feel that they are getting value for money.

    They could over come the issue reasonably quick through the use of on-demand services and a much better release schedule that doesn’t make people inpatient.

    People now live in a much more global mind set, it’s a shame that our governments and the power’s to be haven’t been able to make that leap as well…

    • I like your reply Shane, and i would support paying for a season/individual episodes.

      The time delay thing is one problem that i really see. Its really annoying that you feel so behind on your favourite shows. There are also times where your favourite shows aren’t even broadcast in the country. as an example The Boondocks is nearly unheard of here, and im not going to pay for a huge foxtel/austar lineup to watch one show (if it is even in their lineup).

    • It would be wonderful if there were streaming media sites with ad support of brand new content, I’d use it and let the ads run if I didn’t have to pay for the content. The idea of a bulk season buy would be great too, I’d pay a small fee, say $10-$15, to download a season in 1080p HD – at least then I would be getting the content from a trusted source and it will be the raw video content, as some video files I’ve downloaded have had trojans built in, not to mention large TV production companies would be able to provide fast download servers.

  • Personally, I am almost always downloading TV shows via BT. Usually they are episodes that have already aired that I have missed. I don’t feel like that is illegal as the eps are generally also available on catch up through the TV channel sites but I prefer to get a download version that I can don’t have to stream.
    Another point I want to make is that people only ever concentrate on the supposed revenue that is lost through BT. They never consider that it can actually work the other way. A case in point is that I downloaded the first episode of True Blood (to see what the fuss was about) and loved it so much I went out straight away and bought the bluray box set.

  • We are often seasons behind, and at the mercy of tv stations who buy the rights to screen, or don’t buy and then some awesome shows never get aired – it’s only been with the release of DVD tv series we even get to see some of them at all ( and those are not available if a network buys the option to screen I believe. Itunes is now screening some tv series a couple of weeks or months behind rather then the years.

  • Not to mention the issue with the networks actually showing these series in the correct episodic order (Fox’s broadcast of Firefly is a great example of this).
    What the networks need to realise is that if you want people to not use Channel BT so heavily they need to provide options that go beyond what they have offered historically. If you’re business model is no longer working, change it!
    And by change, I mean that the networks need to be seriously creative not just hire enough lawyers to try and push people back into how they want to do business.

  • Sometimes I want to watch a show twice to catch that little hint or twist that’s hidden at the beginning. I don’t like add breaks and sometimes the ABC cuts bits out of BBC programs when they eventually air.

  • Compared to the catch-up services you generally get better quality from Channel BT, too. What’s the point of having a big HD TV if the picture quality is comparable to a (good) youtube video?

  • For me it’d be a simple set of changes that would convince me to stop downloading my shows:

    – no airing delays from overseas
    – no scheduling bullsh!t (aka – on my own time)
    – no ads = up to $1/episode
    – ads = free, but ads either:
    – play all at beginning of stream; or
    – limited in number of breaks (3 per hour)

    If the networks and studios would relinquish their grip on this ancient business model of theirs, they could be making a metric arseload of money from the volume of subscribers, plus ad revenue (if done right).

    It’s the 21st century fer cryin’ out loud.

  • if a large volume of Australians are downloading TV Shows for free, then producers are already losing profits. a lot of shows never make it here on free-to-air television anyways, so there is a potential to make some money from nothing.

    i’d pay $1 per episode, ad-free. u don’t think they realise how much media we consume these days. they should do this NOW to compete with BitTorrent and earn some money. however the BitTorrent releases are very fast, very high quality it’s the only way for them to compete is for a simple cheap clean digital service.

    they’ve left it too long and it’s their own fault for not creating a service at all, YET! other people have done the duty of providing it and without even asking for any $.

    all content creators should stop trying to control how their content is distributed as we have the internet to do that for us now, and simply look for compensation for their content. make people pay for the search/filter/social/download aspects instead of the actual content.

    if i was a television producer, i’d be doing a deal with Facebook

  • We (the consumers) are told that digital download is the latest thing. Buy an Apple TV (or windows media equivalent) and you can buy your movies and TV online.
    OK, so we go and buy said device and then we wait. We wait for the distributors in this country to get off their rears and make the content available. Where is Dexter, Medium, Star Trek and so on….?

    Its simple.
    For those that choose (or are committed) to a media type – make the content available and we’ll pay (and I do when I can) but with hold, be greedy or play politics and we just get it elsewhere and you (the copyright owners) get nothing.

  • How about they start releasing tv series on bluray in australia!

    I have been waiting for a long time to buy Dexter on blu ray.. It is available in other countries!

  • Freedom. Watching your TV without ADS and NEWS is bliss. A total media blackout is good for your mental health. It is’t hurting the industry at all. Stations are still charging big bucks for an advert and the producers are cashing in big time on after market sales. Don’t listen to the BS that its hurting the industry. maybe in 5 years it might.

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