Internet Video…Regions are dead.

Three more days to go until the movie I’m working on is finished. It’s always a mixed bag of feelings because on one hand you are happy you made it through and have time to sleep, on the other hand you are sad because it’s over.

Noticed that CTV and TSN are developing a video streaming site that also includes MTV and Discovery Canada. It’s especially useful for sports highlights and news clips because you don’t often have time to watch the whole broadcast. This way you can pick the stories and highlights that interest you. Unfortunately they are using Windows Media which looks and sounds like ass, and it doesn’t work in Safari yet, although they say support is coming. You have to use Firefox for now if you are on a Mac.

Internet distribution is threatening the region model of broadcast television. Currently Canadian broadcasters make most of their money simulcasting American shows. But now that you can get T.V. shows anywhere, they are in panic mode. CTV would like to have it so that you have to watch “Lost” on their network, which is no longer the case. They also really hate time shifting where someone in Vancouver can watch the Toronto feed of a show and not see any local Vancouver ads. That the networks actually think they can stop this trend is laughable. How about creating more original Canadian programming like Corner Gas, a show you can’t get anywhere else. The current model of Canadian television executives from CTV and Global going down to L.A. to pick the best American shows to simulcast, and then acting as if they are their own, is outdated. Whoever picks the best new series wins? That’s your whole business model?

The NHL is the worst offender of regional restrictions. Even if you get all the Sportsnet channels and TSN, games are still blacked out. Streaming television is blowing this wide open. Right now software is available that can allow anyone to watch any game they want. Fans in the approved region simple stream their feed to the internet and people from the blacked out region can watch. The NHL, for some reason hates this. Why? We still watch all the ads. What if some Toronto fan moves to Calgary. Good luck getting the mid-week Leaf game. What if I live in London, England and want to see the Oilers play. Who does it hurt if I tune into the TSN stream on my computer?

Kids, regions are dead. Move on. Create a new business model. Have we learned nothing from Napster?

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