Many people don’t realise that the majority of traffic on illegal P2P networks comes not from those hunting big budget flicks but rather users in search of the latest transatlantic TV episodes. It isn’t about stealing, cost cutting or copyright violation but rather because in countries outside the US there hasn’t been a legal alternative. Intriguingly BT is set to change that.
Launching on 31st July on the BT Vision TV platform will be a PC based film and television download service. As a result of a deal unveiled today between the reformed monopolist monster telco and NBC Universal it will bring a wide range of the later’s latest content to the UK for purchase (via download-to-own) or rental (video-on-demand). Over 150 Universal titles will be available on the same date as the UK DVD release as well as a host of catalogue films and – vitally – access to the latest TV series.
Content can be garnered without the need for a monthly contract and – in the case of a permanent purchase – a customer will be able to download two digital copies for either laptop, desktop or PDA and a DVD will also be separately sent by post.
In all the move signals a potentially revolutionary shift in TV land, where the traditional geographical boundaries that restrict each broadcaster are dissolved in favour of cross network global sharing. Riyad has been campaigning for such a system for eons and in the Emeran audio and videophile household as well as many others I’m sure it will prove a big hit.
We’re still waiting on official pricing to come through for the individual flicks and series but as long as BT doesn’t get greedy (erm… *gulp*) it should be onto a winner.