Fox Broadcasting pushed its TV Anywhere pay wall into place a week ago, and now piracy of its programs has apparently increased.
Fox’s decision required viewers to have an authenticated subscription to a participating cable or satellite provider if they want to watch its programs within eight days after they air. TorrentFreak was among those that predicted people would turn to illegal sources rather than wait.
To test its theory, TorrentFreak tracked MasterChef and Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network. During the initial five days, the data showed the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114 percent compared to the previous three episodes.
The results for MasterChef were even more dramatic. During the first five days, downloads went up 189 percent, perhaps driven by the episode being the season finale.
There are of course other unauthorized ways besides BitTorrent to view Fox programs, including even YouTube. But where people can’t view them is in the places they had been enjoying the ability to watch them at the time and place they wanted to.
Commenters on Hulu are not shy about sharing their opinion of Fox’s decision. “I could see cable shows going to Plus just to suck people dry, but Fox, NBC, and ABC have tailored advertising exactly like broadcast TV, but Hulu makes it available when I want to watch. No more Hell’s Kitchen for me,” wrote Ryan Zero.
Another Hulu user wrote, “Well, FOX’s new policy with them holding their shows hostage in this manner has just increased my support of video piracy!”
TorrentFreak – http://tinyurl.com/3jq7ylg
Hell’s Kitchen discussion on Hulu – http://tinyurl.com/3b4hj43
Photo of Gordon Ramsay courtesy of Fox Broadcasting