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TV3 is going to screen the new series of Homeland just four hours after episodes play in the US – with episodes posted to TV3.co.nz'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