Some thoughts on the whole Slingshot Global Mode debate

I have been watching with much interest at how Sky, TVNZ and TV3 have reacted to Slingshot’s Global Mode product and their desire to spend money advertising it.

It brings me back to the early 2000’s when the music industry began to hit the panic button over piracy and rather than invest in legal alternatives, they whined about the problem and threw money at litigation. Eventually, someone with some commonsense came to the astounding realisation that customers would actually pay money for the digital service and now we have wonderful services like Spotify. As a result, we certainly spend more annually on music than we previously did and we have access to a wider range of content.

Now we have the local TV networks whining about the fact that kiwis who are fed up with having to wait for their scheduling are bypassing them to access it elsewhere. It’s astounding.

Just as the music industry did in the early 2000’s, the local TV industry seems to believe that this approach, rather than a reasonable legal alternative, is the best way to proceed.

They complain that it’s a breach of copyright. They complain that they are missing out on revenue when they are the legitimate rightsholder for this territory. The reality is that they find themselves in this situation based on their own foolish decision making.

There is absolutely nothing stopping them from providing content the way people want it. The issue is their increasingly less relevant business models. The fact that people are prepared to open their wallets and pay for content to foreign businesses should be ringing alarms bells and alerting them to the fact that there is a ground swell of people who will no longer tolerate their poor servicing of the market they have paid significant amounts of money to hold the rights to.

Not to mention the fact that these people don’t seem to understand the Streissand Effect. How many people are now aware of and are buying into this because of their ineptitude?

All this behavior shows is that the networks are more interested in preventing viewers from accessing the content they want rather than giving them a reason, or the ability, to access it through them.

People are currently spending money to access content that isn’t going to the local rights holders. The fact that they aren’t getting that money is no ones fault but their own and the sooner they figure it out, the better it will be for everyone.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • I use Netflix almost daily, and there’s no way in hell I’ll be feeding my money down the throat of the infamous eyesores that are Telecom and SKY when they launch their attempts at an online streaming service.

    I want a service that lets me download and store, DRM free, 1080p movies and TV series within the hour that they screen in their country of origin. Currently the only way this is possible is through illegal means. There’s no way in hell any NZ company will ever set this up and Hollywood is so behind the times that it won’t happen in this decade anyway.

    Bottom line is I will happily pay for a service that gets me what I want, when I want it, with no strings attached. Until then, Netflix and other less legal means are what does what I want perfectly. I have money to pay for stuff but I want something decent in return

  • John McCready

    This is a subject worthy of debate and one in which, in my view, there is no easy answer to. Certainly I want to be able to purchase what I want from where I want, but one cannot ignore the validity of local rights holders. What say you?

  • aaronimpact

    What happens when local channels own the rights to a tv show but they don’t want to air it? TV3 are sitting on the new season(s) of The Simpsons and seem to have no interest in airing the episodes while us Simpsons fans are left to wait.

  • Dave Ian Batten

    Why can’t they do something like the radio stations do, and stream live TV 24/7?