Originally Posted by ascii
I can see it in iTunes, but I think Apple makes deals with national TV broadcasters to not put episodes up until they have aired in that country.
No, this is the issue. Apple doesn't and shouldn't have to make deals with each and every local broadcaster that also wants to air a show.
Apple is trying to make deals with the studios who produce/own the shows, and content owners.
Unfortunately, these owners have all kinds of deals going all the time -- with cable companies, local and international broadcasters, etc. A cable company might negotiate to get a TV Show or Movie first and base it's whole deal with the Studio on getting the content before iTunes.
The issue isn't that someone wants to wants to be able to get episodes of White Collar om iTunes before
they air ANYWHERE in the world or before the studio releases it to it's own primary network. The issue is that you can only get Series 1 on iTunes, while from what I can tell, there have been 3 series aired in the US.
Imagine if the new iPad was released in only the US this time, instead of internationally. Imagine if Apple had only made 4 million for launch, instead of the possible 10-15 million it might be launching with (who knows?). If they did either, they would take flack for this launch being an epic fail. Of course, they still will take the flack, because each launch has been greeted thus, because of the huge demand (sounds like success to me!) and despite the launches getting bigger and bigger and smoother and smoother. So, why can't the studios see it as a good thing to have an international/universal launch of a new show to all possible places and marketplaces and audiences and formats at once? Imagine a pilot show being viewed by 1 billion people around the world? They would soon find new ways to finance new productions and raise the quality in the process! Just the kind of disruption that Horace Dediu speaks of on Asymco.com -- changing value chain to get value to content producers so more, new, higher quality content can be produced!
This is what the interviewee is reluctant to change or upset. He is reluctant to give Apple an even playing field with all the traditional players. Everyone else gets precedence apparently. I have seen a new movie appear fairly timely on iTunes, and then get taken off, because it conflicted with a deal that a local cable provider negotiated for itself.
Despite the fact that there are 300 or so million iOS devices out there and who knows how many copies of iTunes on Macs and PCs and tons of active iTunes accounts around the world, the studios think they are better off holding on to the old, and they would still like to divide up all the markets in the world.
The studios are completely out of touch with how people want to experience TV today and must not get that people are increasingly disatisfied with Cable packages where you get a lot of junk channels, just to be able to watch the one or two shows you want to watch (not even one or two channels). A la carte downloads and subscriptions are the way forward. I don't want a hundred crappy channels from my local provider or pay for stuff I don't watch or don't want.
In fact, I don't have a TV at all. I currently live in Netherlands; and I have lived in UK and USA. What do I care when a show is due to be "aired" in Netherlands? Why should I worry if it is going to be on TV here in six months, a year, two years? Why should it be an issue that the Netherlands is typically 4 seasons or so behind the USA? Why can't I find out about a new show that would interest me, and start watching it on my computer/Apple TV as soon as it is available ANYWHERE?
I can guarantee you I am not going to watch the ads aired with the show -- whatever those ads are due to be in a couple of years. So, what is this studio guy hanging on to -- the going rate that a local provider typically pays given typical local audience and ad negotiating power in that region? Does this studio exec think this will last forever? Is he willing to hold out for the diminshing amounts that providers are going to pay up front for his programs? Shouldn't he just give it a go and watch millions upon millions of individual subscribers happily fork over small amounts per show or series because they actually WANT to watch the content? The studios just need to take the plunge like the newspapers, magazines and publishers.