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October 9, 2015

Would you pay a premium to watch shows early?

by Brett Love, posted Apr 19th 2008 12:02PM

NBCThere's an interesting little blurb over at Digital Spy about NBC's TV Box. The network is currently working out distribution deals in up to ten European and Asian countries, building their global video-on-demand service. They don't detail exactly which shows will be a part of the package, other than a mention of both current and past series being involved.

That's all fine and dandy, but the interesting bit comes from something NBC's Belinda Menendez says. Apparently, the big shows, like Heroes, may be available before they are broadcast for an extra price. And that leads us to the question in the post title.

For the sake of argument, let's assume this all works out for the peacock bunch in Europe and Asia and they make it a global policy. Would the prospect of getting Thursday's episode of The Office on Monday be enough to let those sticky Donaghy fingers into your wallet?

I have to say, I kind of like the idea. It's not something that I would use a lot, but the option would certainly be nice. On those days when you fire up the programming guide and realize that you've either seen it all, or have no interest in seeing any of it, it would be great to jump ahead in the week. Of course, much of that usefulness is dependent on pricing.

Would you pay a premium to see episodes early?
I have no patience. Absolutely.21 (8.1%)
A premium, yes, but it all hangs on the price.72 (27.7%)
Possibly on the rare occasion.69 (26.5%)
I have the patience of Job. Nope.98 (37.7%)

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This just goes to show how badly the networks are floundering around and grasping at straws in an attempt to get viewers. So let me get this straight, they are charging their BEST customers to view content online which is going to further erode their broadcast neilsen ratings on their weekly broadcasts. That in turn drops their ratings and their share which in turn leads to EVEN EARLIER CANCELLATION OF A GOOD SERIES. Oh yeah NBC, that really sounds like a great idea.

No thanks, I am already paying a premium to watch your shows (after cancellation). Its called "buying them on DVD" and fuming because there is only one season to watch.

April 20 2008 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd rather just pay for the shows I want and do away with cable all-around.

April 20 2008 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If it comes out early for premium users, it also means it's gonna get ripped and put on the internet newsgroups/torrents available as free download earlier.

April 19 2008 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ultimately it depends on the show. I'd pay a dollar to watch some episodes of Lost a few days early, maybe. I think the days of event viewing are over. Season finales and premieres are the only things I think would make any sense, and even then only for shows that are heavily story-based, like Lost or Battlestar Galactica.

One thing I really WOULD pay for is to see some episodes of my favorite TV shows on a movie screen. I think it would be a lot of fun to see Lost with a theater full of other Battlestar Galactica fans on a massive screen and with booming sound.
Since the last Star Wars movie, going to a theater isn't the major communal experience it used to be. No one is so into a movie that they'll stand in line and be willing to talk to total strangers about it. But with the big TV shows, I think that communal experience would be perfect.

Of course, you'd have to be able to watch a whole evenings worth of premieres or finales to make it worthwhile, but I think it could happen.

I'd pay for that experience.

April 19 2008 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't get it... Why does it matter? I certainly would not pay extra to watch the same crap a bit earlier.

As it is, I rarely watch any shows live. More often than not, I'm watching DVR-ed shows days or even weeks later. In fact, with Heroes, I fell so many weeks behind that I just gave up on the show, and deleted the episodes that I had saved up. No big loss (and no, I don't watch Lost either).

April 19 2008 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not a chance. It's an even bigger "no" since it's NBC.

April 19 2008 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No way.

April 19 2008 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 19 2008 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Probably not.

April 19 2008 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually kind of do already, buy watching the east coast feeds instead of the west coast feeds. Currently free with my HD subscription, but people without HD have to pay extra for the east coast feeds in SD.

Only three hours early, but it saves me from saying up late.

April 19 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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