A lot of people in the UK are already downloading TV shows over the Internet – usually using BitTorrent, which can be a bit complicated if you’re a novice. Peekvid is yet another, very simple way to watch well-known TV shows online – it simply links to TV shows which have already been uploaded on YouTube. The quality of course isn’t great, but it’s very easy to find what you’re looking for.
Such sites and services are major headaches for broadcasters – they get no return from their programmes being watched online, without the viewer having to pay a licence fee, or pay for programmes indirectly through advertising. And it can mean anyone can watch it, meaning that valuable overseas sales can be lost. But, at the moment, here in the UK, it’s impossible to watch or view a TV show online legally, unless it happens to be featured on the BBC Two site.
The BBC are working on a system which will make it very easy to catch up on TV shows by downloading them to your computer, but where’s everyone else? How come US TV shows or ITV and Channel 4 shows aren’t available on iTunes here yet?
The US iTunes has over 200 different programmes available already from a host of broadcasters. And Apple tomorrow are exptected to launch a movie download service (probably again only in the US). Rights can be a very difficult issue for broadcasters to sort out, but surely they’ve done it by now?
I’m not a fan of paying to watch TV shows, but if it was a programme I had missed, and I really like it, I probably would pay £1.39 or whatever to watch it. I’m sure there’s other people out there who are extremely frustrated that it’s not easy to do this in the UK yet, which is probably why services such as Peekvid will prove popular.