The ABc is to screen the new series of Doctor Who within an hour of its UK premiere. The move is the first time an Australian television network has broadcast content within such a short time of its international release.
ABC1 Controller Brendan Dahill said, “For Doctor Who fans, it is a fantastic opportunity to see new episodes within hours of them premiering in the UK – each episode will be available on iview on Sundays.”
Each episode will be available from 5am eastern time on Sundays.
The show will air on ABC1 the following Saturday. In 2010 the ABC screened Doctor Who on iView before terrestrial TV, but the online episodes were available over two weeks after the BBC screening in the UK.
A growing problem for TV networks is fans of popular shows downloading them immediately after they air overseas if they are not available locally. Earlier this month, News Limited CEO Kim Williams derided such downloading as “scumbag theft”, but did not address the question of business models to allow content to be made available sooner..
Dahill said in a press release: “ABC’s iview is the most watched catch-up service in Australia with 48% of online Australians aged 16+ having accessed iview. The new iview app for iphones and iPod Touch, launched on June 26, has seen a phenomenal 434,000 downloads recorded to date – with 210,000 downloads recorded in its first week.”