Sunday, December 11, 2005

Piracy and BSG

The SyFyPortal has posted up a new essay on Piracy and Battlestar Galactica:

Piracy Issues Gives 'Galactica' Center Stage
Author: Michael Hinman
Date: 12-10-2005
Source: Broadcasting & Cable

Just how bad is piracy affecting television shows like "Battlestar Galactica"? Enough to make network executives realize they have an untapped market, and even more than enough to do something about it.
Although a lot of the discussion was about Katie Couric's rumored defection to CBS, NBC Universal Television Group President Jeffrey Zucker recently told Broadcasting & Cable's Ben Grossman that people illegally downloading shows is an even worse problem than originally thought.
"Every week, there are 436,000 illegal downloads of 'Battlestar Galactica,'" Zucker said. "Clearly, someone is downloading it and watching it on a smaller screen. Ever since iTunes went online with video, there have been 500,000 downloads per week. It's pretty clear people want to watch this stuff. Now, given that we are selling 'Battlestar Galactica' for $1.99, there is finally a legitimate model in place."
NBC Universal was the second major network to join up with Apple's iTunes, just behind Disney's ABC in offering programming for download to computers and to video iPods. In NBC's initial offering, shows such as "Battlestar Galactica" and others will now be available for $2 each.
And it's not going to stop there.
Over the next couple of weeks, in fact, we will have many more announcements about many more shows there," Zucker said. "We see it as a brand-new business, and it will be run like any television network. I don't think there's a limit as to how many show we can have available."
"Battlestar Galactica," starring Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on the SciFi Channel, a subsidiary of NBC Universal. New episodes of the show's second season will begin next month, with its third season beginning in June.


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