If you follow me on Twitter, I am sure you have seen me griping to @SyFy about their 30 day streaming policy for all of their television shows. I usually get the same answer (that it’s contractual issues to blame) but it doesn’t stop me from continuing to complain about it. I canceled DirecTV last summer and so all of my television is viewed via Hulu (I have my PC hooked up to my t.v.) and/or Netflix on my XBox 360.
Most of the networks air their shows online the day after (sometimes sooner) they air on t.v. SyFy, however, does not. And although the contractual issues excuse may actually have some bearing on the decision to do that, I cannot imagine that every single studio that SyFy works with is forcing them to delay online streaming of their content.
Personally, to me, whoever is at fault is an idiot. This is practically begging your viewers to go illegally download your content. Whereas if it is online and available, you can get ad revenue from those eyeballs watching your shows. This is especially true for SyFy, whose audience is primarily those of us tech-savvy enough to know exactly how to go about acquiring things on the internet and don’t think twice about it.
I want to state now, for the record, that I do not illegally download shows that SyFy airs. I wait the 30 days because I want to make a statement that this delay is not going to bully me into signing back up for satellite t.v. (or cable).
But really… what is it going to take to make the television industry look at what happened in the music industry and learn from their mistakes? (Hint – DELAYING ONLINE CONTENT IS A BAD IDEA).
DISH CEO Bruce Eisen has been quoted as stating that Hulu is killing television. But the truth is that Hulu is only killing an over-priced model to pay for a ton of content that most people, myself included, will never want to watch. Until cable and satellite companies can offer a la carte pricing (rather than offering 200+ channels, when you really only want 10 of those), they are still going to suffer from the combination of a bad economy and access to shows online.
Let’s face it. We live in a world where demanding instant gratitude is the norm. We want things when we want them, not when networks schedule them. How else could you explain the popularity of DVR’s, On Demand, Hulu and Netflix streaming?
So SyFy, I will continue to call you out on this bad policy. And I hope others take up the fight with me.
(In SyFy’s defense, I will give props to Craig Engler for sending me DM’s responding to my complaints. And I did appreciate the Caprica t-shirt he sent me for my birthday. Even if his network still cancelled the show. I’m not still bitter. Oh, wait. YES I AM.)