News No Television Executive Wants to Read

Viewers just aren’t that into you. As evidence by the above twitter message the TV Addict stumbled across a mere 39 minutes (that’s less than an hour folks!) after last night’s episode of LOST aired on the east coast. Awkward.

Call us crazy, but perhaps it’s time to have a look at the old business model. Because while this probably doesn’t come as news to’s web savvy readers, we have a feeling we know where to find all of the viewers that Nielsen ‘forgot’ to measure watching DOLLHOUSE, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and LOST.

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  • Rae

    I assume from your blurring there that the download link there was not a legal option? If so, i don’t find that to be awkward for the networks. It’s not like they’re encouraging people to steal the shows instead of waiting an hour for it to air in their timezone. Now if they were providing alternate ways of watching the episode before it aired in all of the timezones and more people were choosing those alternate ways, that may be awkward.

  • Hil

    Perhaps if they didn’t put a bunch of popular shows on at the same time people wouldn’t go to alternate routes to find them. As much as I love Life I watch LOST real time and Life on the next day.

    Besides, as long as the people with the monitoring boxes don’t dl then it doesn’t matter. The TV execs don’t count 99% of us anyway and we can do what we want and who cares?

  • theTVaddict


    Even though I’m fairly immersed in the online world myself, it really took me by surprise that a show was available for download so quickly after it’s airing. I’m not sure why, but I always assumed these things took a bit longer. Which is why, if I were in a position of power, I might start to consider simultaneous online streaming of shows on web sites.

    Oh and I should also mention that I of course didn’t tweet this. I’m just choose to blur out the twitterer as to not get anybody in trouble!

  • none

    well 36 minutes after a show airs is even quite late
    I know shows that are available sooner .. like 10 minutes after they aired

    and sorry … if we european falks would be able to access hulu at the same time we wouldnt need to go those ways

  • Hil

    It is blocked so your European networks can make money licensing and airing American shows over there. They won’t bid on shows if they know most of their audience has already seen it on legally.

    In the reverse, BBC’s Doctor Who site has content that won’t load from here in the States. *shakes fist* It is likely content we’ll never see here legally either.

  • fanshawe

    It’s possible to access Hulu if you’re outside the U.S., you just have to cheat.

    What sucks is that, with Fox on Demand (the only streaming service that counts, according to the Terminator blog), you can’t even cheat to get counted.

    Not only that but, if you’re an international viewer, you can’t even buy the new episodes legally. This may not make much of a difference with most shows (even if it’s still money down the drain), but those that are popular on BitTorrent like Sarah Connor (the most downloaded new show last year) could certainly use a method of distribution that isn’t stuck in the 20th century. Fox.

  • allie

    Like “none” said, 36 mins is actually a little late for a show that’s in demand. I start looking for shows I want to see about 5 mins after I know they’ve finished airing in the first timezone that they will air in (usually East coast USA, but sometimes Canada airs shows a day or 2 earlier – e.g. Bones this week). The only problem one then encounters with obtaining the release immediately is that there may be a flaw in the file (e.g. audio out of sync) which causes a repack or proper to be released which means you have to decide whether to stick with the original or use more download quota to obtain the corrected release. Of course, this is all hypothetical because I’d never do anything “illegal” ;-P (Personally I don’t see that it is any different from a friend recording a show on their VCR and sending me the tape, which is what used to happen)

  • TVFan

    none, allie,

    5, 10 minutes later? Clearly I’m looking in the wrong places!

  • allie

    TVFan – or my personal favourite,

  • Nick

    Well, I work in the TV biz, and let me just lay out the hard facts to those who are habitual downloaders instead of TV watchers: You’re killing your own shows.

    When Nielsen can’t measure your viewing, it doesn’t matter how great a show is…it’s gonna be history. TV execs look at the ratings, and if the ratings aren’t good enough to sell to advertisers, the show will be pulled.

    There’s the irony. People love shows, but won’t play by the rules (thinking they should get the product for “free” without having to watch a commercial), and they absolutely kill their own favorite series.

  • Nate

    @Nick: Let me give you some hard facts. The number of downloads for these shows are so minute that it is barely a drop in the bucket for the networks. The top 10 pirated shows of last week

    Their statistics show that 90% of these downloaders are international viewers where these shows may not air for weeks. So the downloaders are hardly the problem. On top of that none of these top pirated shows are in any danger of cancellation. For a show like Dollhouse there might be at most 70k people in the usa who pirate it. 70-100k more people is not gonna make one iota of a difference in that show’s cancellation prospects. Terminator a show that will probably be cancelled does not even register

  • Tarn

    Isn’t Neilsen just a relatively small proportion of viewers from which figures are extrapolated? Chances are, Neilsen households aren’t downloaders, so how can the networks say they are harming viewing figures….

    I think Nate is correct.
    I download, but I’m in Europe. So I don’t count in the figures anyway. I do it because the shows are not going to be shown here for a while, or because I miss them due to working shifts. But I tend to watch them again when they are broadcast here, if I can.

    My US friends tend NOT to download because their ISPs use shaping and threatening letters to discourage P2P. This tends to work, though I know one person who get shows by other means. I assume this pattern is all over the US – downloading is not as rife as in Europe, because it’s harder and more risky.

  • jen

    I live in australia and we either get shows heaps later, or in the case of terminator, not at all. So what other option do i have but to download? They really should look at downloads and internet searches etc for how popular shows are.

    Also, I tried to watch a movie last night on normal tv…and i swear to you there was an advert every 10 minutes or more!! That’s another reason people don’t watch shows when they’re on tv.