Zeebox CEO: pirating caused by bureaucracy

Zeebox logoThe CEO of one of Australia’s most popular multi-screen companies has called for television networks to eliminate red tape and encourage faster sharing of international television shows.

Craig Blair, CEO of Zeebox, told the Mumbrella360 Conference this afternoon the time taken for popular international series to make it to Australian screens was “too slow”.

“The internal risk aversion processes are a massive constraint. The timeline of approvals, release of content… it’s all too slow,” said Blair.

Citing recent TV phenomenon Game of Thrones Blair told Mumbrella the TV networks haven’t been efficient enough in fast tracking overseas content.

“I don’t think they’re doing all they can to ensure the optimal viewing experience is on the TV. And by not considering content, by not shortening the window, they’re opening up opportunities that people will find it elsewhere. And people are doing that,” he said.

An analysis of torrents by has shown Australians downloaded HBO’s Game of Thrones at a higher per capita rate than any other country.

“It’s actually kind of frustrating for us. We’re a platform, we’re here to help,” said Blair.

“We think the best defense for the industry is to join together in a common platform and sort these problems out. If you don’t, viewers go round, which is what we’re seeing right now – they’re downloading content.”

Zeebox’s Blair specifically made mention of “internal processes” that have prevented Australians getting their favourite shows sooner.

“To see internal processes thwart it… just seems like they’re not solving the problem. Ultimately, people will just download it. Ultimately, they’ve probably lost a few hundred thousand [dollars].”

June 11 update: Blair adds: “We believe that our partner Foxtel is the leading the way in accelerating content from the US. Particularly on Game of Thrones which was fast tracked within two hours of transmission in the US.

“We also believe that networks need to do more to accelerate content from the US and enable Australian viewers to enjoy the live TV experience as fully as their overseas counterparts. We will therefore continue to work with Foxtel and our other partners to develop best in class social TV experiences around live TV for their viewers.”

Sam Buckingham-Jones 


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