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October 9, 2015

BSG webisodes only work within the U.S.

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 14th 2006 11:41AM
Grace ParkBefore the return of the Cylons, human civilization spanned twelve colonies (or thirteen, if you're superstitious and believe in Earth), but the Battlestar Galactica webisodes (reviewed for TVS by Jen Creer every Tuesday and Thursday) are strictly limited to viewing only by users with a United States ISP (or, internet address). Nope, not in the U.K. or elsewhere -- not even in Canada. That's the Tyranny of Digital Distance as Tama at Blogcritics.org calls it, who also charged the decision is "tantamount to a slap in the face to the very loyal fans in other countries."

What gives? The webisodes are meant to build anticipation for season three, and apparently for that reason, they're being shown only in the immediate run-up to the premiere date. And season three will begin later in other countries than in the United States.

Still, this will only drive non-U.S. fans to YouTube, where webisodes appear, then get taken down -- the usual YouTube hide-and-go-seek copyrighted-content cycle, in other words. Or it will drive fans to other methods to get them. All this over something that is free and meant to just promote the series and make fans happy and get them talking in the first place.

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Ok lets skip all this nonsense and get to the heart of the matter:
1. BSG is filmed in Vangouver,B.C.,Canada as is Jericho as is many other tv shows past and present. So the 'reason" of u.S. jurisdiction holds no water.

2. The local Canadian affiliates pay to show these shows in Canada. What is happenning is extortion pure and simple.

akso if this truly was a "business decision" why is this practice now in the courts in the u.S. under charges of illegal trade practices against the FCC by our CRTC??

December 04 2006 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not really bright for any network to block eyeballs from viewing a promotional clip (much less SciFi). The network seems to be stuck in the old days, out of touch with the on-demand reality of the web. Blocking interested people from accessing a clip they want is a LOT different from not broadcasting a clip on TV in another area of the world. (i.e., the Japan audience isn't complaining, "Hey, why can't I see the new commercials for BSG on TV over here?" They are not even aware that they're missing anything. Whereas with on-demand, the network is actively pissing people off that they cannot access the promotion they just clicked on.) The whole idea of blackouts is smart when you are trying to control SALES in different markets, not PROMOTIONS...I mean, has anyone ever seen an online Buick car commercial or a Spiderman movie trailer block an IP address? That would be dumb marketing. If Jeff in L.A. e-mails his friend Haim in Jerusalem about these cool new BSG webisodes, who then e-mails his friends in D.C., Iowa, and Seattle, that's great for the show. Seems like some dumb lawyer had a knee-jerk security reaction to the term "online video" and this is what we international fans get. Good thing for proxies...

October 09 2006 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, all Scifi is doing now is making the fans angry.
There are people outside the US as well and guess what, we buy DVDs, surf the net and watch TV too. Not to mention thinking. If Scifi tells me through blocking my access to some videos on their site that I'm not a good enough fan/viewer/customer for them because I live in another country and use a different currency, there's something I can do about it too. Stop watching the show on our own channel. And guess what, if enough people gets mad at them and stops watching on whatever channel in whatever country, that channel won't buy the show from scifi therefore they won't make money out of it. So how blocking people from outside the US to watch those vids good for Scifi then?

On the other hand, I'm resourceful enough that I already saw all the webisodes and that only makes Scifi's attempt more ridiculous. This is the internet we are talking about here. It's supposed to be free and borderless...

As for the bandwith problem... do you think that's a big deal for Scifi? It's just a small piece of all their expenses and they get back a LOT more from all the countries they sell the show to. From all those fans in all those countries they are banning and ignoring right now.

October 07 2006 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok,, so its not THE worst show.. lol,, i may have exagereated,,, its ok, just not my favorite.. sorry if i ticked anyone off...

September 24 2006 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff Johnson

BSG is the worst show ever?? Yer crazy...

September 23 2006 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Insulting fans, sure. Irritating people of course. But the real question if the show is so special it can only be sean by the US. Why do they film it here in canada?

September 23 2006 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this has to be THE worst show i have ever seen!

September 22 2006 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

TV on the web is a bit like early days of web radio, things are still shaking out but in the meantime is allowing startups to try out shows on a pretty low budget. We'll have to see how the whole thing pans out in terms of the big guys vs the little vs too much crap...

One interesting sitcom launched recently on the web: FloatersTv.com - not the highest production values, but good quality by web standards... http://www.floaterstv.com . see a clip at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpZOty47564

September 14 2006 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

I am a UK member and what annoys me is the UK broadcaster who do buy the rights to air the show legally, don't do anything like this (or we have to wait months).

Don't attack the US broadcasters for doing it, its not legal for them to even show it outside of the US.

You should be rallying for the UK (and other countries) to get VOD and other rights and put them on their websites.

September 14 2006 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Rakunas

Yeah, dumb move on SciFi's part (and after doing such a smart move like making these webisodes in the first place). Especially since someone's just gonna rip these videos and put up on TorrentSpy or some P2P. The best advertising for the show is the show itself.

I'm starting to think there are two squads of execs at NBC/Universal: one that comes up with great ideas that will get people to watch their shows, and another that's really a bunch of lobotomized apes who can only hurl their own feces at the first squad. Good job, feces-hurlers!

September 14 2006 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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