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TV3 shows way to beat online piracy

TV3 is going to screen the new series of Homeland just four hours after episodes play in the US – with episodes posted to's ondemand service at midnight on the day of broadcast.

MediaWorks is taking this approach with more and more shows screening on TV3 and Four.

"It's tremendous. This is exactly the solution to piracy we've been talking about for years," Tuanz boss Paul Brislen told NBR ONLINE.

"It's great to see the TV companies catch on."

I agree. It's a really positive way to counter online piracy.

But MediaWorks says that is not the primary motivation.

"TV viewing is increasingly a community event, and online communities are global rather than local," spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer told NBR. 

"By screening international shows as close to their global premieres as practical, we ensure our audience is part of the global conversation around a big show and, of course, that keeps us relevant. Those are the main motivations.

"However, positive side effects may well be that our viewers save on their broadband data cap and are less likely to risk illegally downloading TV series. And a win for viewers is a win for us."

The two points are intertwined. Social media helps people hunt out the good stuff in a world of 500 channels but can also amplify frustration when there is no legal way for New Zealanders to legally access a show, even if they would happily pay for it.

The new series of Homeland starts October 1 on TV3 at 8.35pm.

UPDATE: TV3 forwarded the following to clarify timing (thanks for your comments on that point via Twitter):

Homeland episodes will screen 3 hours 25 minutes after the Pacific Time debuts in the US. That US-NZ gap will be consistent until there's a daylight savings change. The broadcast time in each country won't change.

With ondemand, we can have each ep available from midnight the same night.

So, it looks like this in NZ time:

Homeland - Oct 1:

  • 6pm NZT: ep one screens in Pacific Time zone of the USA (LA etc)
  • 8.35pm NZT: ep one screens on TV3
  • Midnight NZT: ep one can be available on demand in NZ


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Comments and questions

counting delay after the west coast is wrong IMO, east gets it earlier, time starts then.

Already have the Tivo locked in for Homeland on TV3. Good work MediaWorks on screening this quickly

So you're the person who bought the only Tivo sold in NZ ;-)

Tivo? You're kidding...

Tivo is the ace but cant tell the drones that. sorta like trying to explain way linux is better than windoze.

4 hours would put it on schedule with me getting it off torrents, so quite viable to watch.

so i watched the last season of homeland by download HD torrents, i will watch this season by torrent as well because i can't watch it at 8:30 on Mondays so need on demand however i simply cannot stand the quality from tv3's on demand service

You could also watch it at 9.30pm on Monday nights on the TV3+1 channel, or simply record it on a DRV/Blu-Ray recorder and watch it anytime that suits you. Faster and simpler than hunting down a torrent and waiting for the large file to download to your computer.

The thing I dont get is the longer delay for ondemand, why should that have to wait for primetime?

There may be license issues. The web thing is a "catch up" license, it may only be able to be online "next day"

And the broadcast version snares a lot of ad $ and the online version few - so it makes commercial sense to prioritise the broadcast version.

Of course, you can't juggle times for different platforms too much, or people will just get fed up. But MediaWorks has made a good step in the right direction by tightening the timeframes.

Given the minimal online ad revenue, I can see why MediaWorks (and TVNZ and Sky TV) doesn't want to stump for an HD download option.

But iTunes US and others have shown that some people will pay for better quality video ... and others will hunt it out on the Torrents ... so it would be great to have that option in the near future.

I do not download American shows primarily because there is a huge delay in getting them to NZ; the ads in NZ are godawful; downloaded shows edit the ads right out of them.

So why must we wait 18 months or more for Coronation Street?

Coro St is from a different century anyway, so why worry?

It's a good step in the right direction, but kinda sad that it's taken this long.
Next step is movie companies releasing world wide at the same time, dreams are free i guess

because coronation street is for people with mush for brains, what difference will 18 months make

Good work, this will save me downloading pretty much all the tv I watch

What I find hard to believe, is why on earth would anybody go to the trouble of pirating such puerile trash?

Practically all the major movies are day and date with the US now anyway. In fact due to our release dates and time zone we are ahead of the US. The main exception are children and family films which are screened during our holidays which are different from the US

Stop saying "easier than downloading" or "easier than finding a torrent".

It takes longer to find the TV remote than it does to find a torrent.

This is a great idea screening overseas show when they screen in the country of origin. Will the networks, however, screen these shows during the summer months? In the US they normally give their programming a small holiday over Christmas and New Years but by mid January all the good shows are back on, here in New Zealand we get subjected to cr*p programming from December to February, if the networks could keep the good shows running over the summer months that would be great. Not everyone goes on holiday in January and this would give the kids some real TV shows to watch instead of the same old movies screened every night on TV in January.

It's summertime, the kids should be outside

Homeland is Not a kids show.. they should be in bed when this screens!

Any news on when MediaWorks will make OnDemand TV shows available in an iPad app or at least stop using a Flash-player on its site? They do it for news programmes but not other shows. I want to be able to catch-up on an iPad. After all I can load torrented content onto it, so TV3 is missing out here...

The Broadcaster still has to do something about driving away the person watching. It is good for the masses that want to watch content near real-time as broadcast in the country of origin, but they need to change their advert insert policy.

That is, the major factor that *might* drive people to seek an alternative feed to the content that they want to watch is the incessant need to have the same (censored) white-box store advert on every single ad-break, every single night.

I for one, refuse to be brain-washed that I need to buy right now, every week, by that Australian company that refuses to go away. :o/

That is, picking on one style of advert that I will always swap channels to avoid.