updated 02:00 pm EDT, Mon August 22, 2011
Fox delay of Hulu TV shows results in more piracy
The decision of Fox to start an eight-day TV show delay online has been met with a spike in piracy, TorrentFreak reported. Last Monday, Fox began the eight-day delay on Hulu and its own Fox.com website. Fox hopes to have encouraged viewers to sign up and pay for its programming to watch the TV shows as they air.
TorrentFreak tracked bootleg downloads of Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef before and after the Fox move. US-based downloads for the former increased by 114 percent and the latter, a season finale, by 189 during the first five days.
This may prove to be a backfire for Fox, as the move may have introduced many to downloading torrents. Many commenters on Hulu's site, YouTube and bit torrent sites are speaking out about the move, berating both Hulu and Fox.
Studios often argue that they need the delay to protect their existing deals with cable and satellite TV providers. Many have noted, however, that plans to force authentication rarely affect those who already have access to the channel on TV and usually just punish those who either can't justify a pricier channel package or don't subscribe to TV at all.
The concept of "cord-cutting," or dropping paid TV for Internet video, was once dismissed by TV providers as marginal but has been gaining traction as a tough economy and regular TV rate hikes continue.