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iheartseverus

What's Your Country?

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Finland. I think the national broadcasting company YLE owns the rights to every HBO show thesedays. They still haven't aired a single episode of True Blood so I sure ain't gonna wait for YLE to show Game of Thrones or I might end up in mental institution.

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Danish television sucks at getting the great drama shows from the states. Things like Rome, Sons of Anarchy and Sopranos are normally shown on one of the big channels that everyone can get. But, then it's usally around midnight that it's on, or later. These are normally shown around ½-1½ year after it's american air date.

The comedy series(Burn Notice, Chuck, Weeds, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, those genres), we get some of them, not all. Usally around 2 years (if not longer) after their US air date.

CSI (and all the clones), we get these... all of them, all the time, rerunning, again and again. I think I have 4 or 5 channels where it seems like they are always showing an episode of CSI, or CSI something or CSI someotherthing or cold case or bones or numbers or what have you. How far after the US airdate these are shown, I have no idea.

If and when, we will get to see GoT I'm guessing it would be on TV2. (One of the big "free" channels here). But It will probably be around a year delayed and show at midnight or later, on wednsday or thursdag. Also there probably won't be running any kind of promotion for it, there always never are.

So I'm just happy for the fact that it takes around 15min to "retrive" the newest episodes, around 4-6 hours after their US air time, in HD.... The Internet, best thing ever.

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Ok so basically, I don't want to wait till someone decided to pick up the series and air it in Greece, which can by anything from 6 months to a few years after it aired in the US.

Not to mention the fact that you may see a season or two of something just to have it quietly vanish and never be seen again.

Ok so basically, I don't want to wait till someone decided to pick up the series and air it in Greece, which can by anything from 6 months to a few years after it aired in the US.

The official translation of the LOTRO movies sucked, mainly because the translator was unfamiliar with the fantasy terminology. Gandalf's "staff" was translated into Greek by a word meaning "things", since the translator thought it was "stuff"...

Το Ï€Ïάγμα του Γκάντaλφ?

:ack:

:lol:

Gandolf's thing is pretty powerful you know.

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This thread has been a real eye-opener to me. I'm in the U.S. and thought it would be interesting to hear from our members around the world, but I had no clue that the world's ability (or willingness?) to view various programs is so... Sketchy? Haphazard? And oddly, a country's 'ability' to provide a program to its people doesn't seem to have anything to do with the technological development of that country. Romania provides HBO programming, but Greece doesn't? Denmark airs some episodes here and there, but only in the middle of the night? Australia and Brazil will likely offer GoT free, but only a year after it airs in the U.S?

Truly, if we here at westeros.org have someone who knows how to catalogue the information we've learned in this thread into a graph or chart that demonstrates to these various governments (and their people!) how absurd this is, I believe we could change things. Doesn't HBO want to sell its top-notch programming in Greece? Do Australians and Brazilians want to wait a year to see GoT? Or 'Rome'? Will they wait to acquire the programming legally? Nooooo, I think not. And what's the deal with Denmark? CSI 24/7 around the clock, but not much else available from the U.S?? Italy won't carry GoT at all, so Italian fans will be forced to pirate as they can. Andorran, Spanish and French tv won't air GoT until many months after release, and then it'll be dubbed. WTF, people, really!

I don't know how to condense and catalog all this into a compelling case, I don't have that kind of analytic mind, but for sure, somebody here at westeros.org does. I do know this: Step #1 is to prepare such a catalog, country by country. (I suggest using only HBO programming as our example--otherwise we quagmire ourselves ). Step #2 is to TRUMPET that carefully catalogued information worldwide. And we all have THAT ability! Why not? We have the members, we have the input, we have the motivation. We can change things. Politicians leap when a sudden spotlight shows them to be ridiculous. We can do that.

Our most imporant issue right now is Step #1. Do we have someone who knows how to condense all this information into a graphic chart or similar visual that makes our case? He/she will become the most valuable person on this thread. We need to all sit back and wait for that person's objective visual product. THEN, we move! We take that 'product' and bam-slam the web with it. We can do this. We can change things. Yes, we can.

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Gandalf's "staff" was translated into Greek by a word meaning "things", since the translator thought it was "stuff",

I've been spending too much time reading the Tairy threads but the Lemming in me can't stop visualizing Gandalf's thing rising now. :wideeyed: :lol:

Something always gets lost in translation, or gets horrifically screwed up. It's a good thing I barely even look at subtitles otherwise I'd be going into fits all the time.

Iheartseverus, I don't think HBO should be to blame for its programs not airing right away (if ever) in countries like Greece. I'd lay the blame on local networks being unwilling to pay the significant amounts required to purchase the rights to such programs.

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Iheartseverus, I don't think HBO should be to blame for its programs not airing right away (if ever) in countries like Greece. I'd lay the blame on local networks being unwilling to pay the significant amounts required to purchase the rights to such programs.

Oh, I agree, absolutely. Each country bears the burden of negotiating the deal that will bring HBO programming to their viewers. HBO has 'products' to sell. It's up to the country to purchase, or not. But surely, HBO is not stupid. If they can market their product in Greece, or elsewhere, legitimately, they'll make more money than they're doing now? IMO, if 'the people' somewhere want something bad enough, they'll find a way to get it. Offer it to them legitimately and great--they'll buy it. But deny it to them? They'll find a way to acquire it any way they can. Seems like basic marketing tactics to me.

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Lovely. Now I will always remember you guys whenever I re-watch LOTR. And the horrid vision of Gandalf's dingelangs vibrating with glowing power.

Also, iheartseverus, I'd just let things flow as they are, instead of causing an uprise. First, it's not HBO's fault that the Greek networks are too cheap to buy a-list shows on their prime, and second, everyone over here is fine with how things work at the moment. We just employ dubious methods, with stellar translations by people who actually like this stuff, and when the shows air publicly, we rewatch everything and pretend its fresh and new to us.

Imagine the fun of being pleasantly surprised twice...

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What I don't understand is, why don't the big networks that make all these original programs, HBO, FX, Showtime and so on, allow international perople acces to their programming via the internet.

PPV buy's have exploded since the rest of the world gained access to it via the internet, I'm pretty sure that stations like HBO could make quite a lot of money by selling internet access to their programs.

I know at least 50 people personally that follow True Blood on at weekly basis (despite the fact that season 1 haven't started yet, nor is there any plans for it, afaik), but most of these ain't tech-savy enough to figure out how to download it themselves, so they depend upon those of of that can. We don't wanna dissapoint our freinds, so yes.. we help them get it.

Most of them would be more then willing to throw some money in HBO's direction, if it meant they could stream the episodes in good quality over the internet. (20Mbit adsl connections are almost the standard internet connection in Denmark, so streamin is no problem for most people). Lots of people would be willing to buy access, I'm sure. My dad, whom is 67years old, even asks me to download stuff like Sons of Anarchy and Rome. He's an old guy, and he will rather see the downloaded TV rips from america, without subtitles, then having to make sure to catch every episode when it's aired. Staying up past midnight is not something he likes, old man and all.

I gotta agree with him. I suck at following weekly shows, unless I can choose when to se it and not let the TV program tell me when to se it. (as re-runs wont happen here until months later, so miss an episode and your fu*ked).

I can't help but think that the tv stations are shutting themselves out from a lot of money here.

How much does it actually cost for you americans to get HBO?

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How fast Finnish TV shows it depends a lot on how big hit it´ll be in US. A lot of hype and big ratings generally guaranteeds rather quick showing in good timeslot. No hype and it´ll get the same treatment The Wire got. Best starttime I recall was 23.30 saturday night and by 3rd season it got 00.30 on thursday. Latest was probably 01.50

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The really stupid ones will be the BBC, if they choose to pour money into the production of AGOT, and then don't show it for a significant period after it's shown on HBO. That will basically just be pouring money down the drain.

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I think the BBC will probably start the series a week or two after HBO does. That's what it does with Heroes anyway.

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Each country bears the burden of negotiating the deal that will bring HBO programming to their viewers. HBO has 'products' to sell. It's up to the country to purchase, or not.

Sigh. Not even that... Somebody that knows more about it could explain it better, but "producing" channels sell their programs in a sort of fair: you are from A TV in Portugal and want to buy something for the next season. Let's see what's been done out there. B TV in Finnland produced a show which was big success in Holland , oh, great! Now I have something to air wednesday night; you buy an aknowledged success. Or they have privilege contracts with other channels in other countries (being this legal and open, or not), because of complicated international holdings: Berlusconi for example has a web of channels all over Europe, and you can see repeated programs from one country to the other. Or you want to screw your opponent in prime time and buy a series more or less the same "type" (CSI, NCIS and so on) to air at the same time. Or you buy a series, somebody else buys YOUR channel and the first thing the new administration has to do is prove the late administration being wrong, so the product remains frozen undefinitely. Or you screw a great series inserting it at 3.00 a.m. because you don't know what to do with it, because the target public has nothing to do with the public of your channel. And besides they have to protect and try to sell their own products.

All this, and much more, happened in Spain (and I bet, in many other places). And besides the regional and payment channels, of course.

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Germany.

We do not have HBO or Showtime or any German broadcaster regularly offering their productions. And though our pay-per-view channels show some of them, their programming lacks calibre, is sloppily selected and (in my opinion) far too expensive.

Furthermore, the quality of German television is abysmal.

Our commercial broadcasters produce almost no material themselves and the few they produce is ridiculously bad. In contrast, our public television channels are quite decent (focusing on political, cultural and educational programmes as well as documentaries). But they lack the means and will to buy high quality series from the United States or the UK. An exception was The Sopranos which aired on one of our public channels - but only for a few seasons and (like all shows with graphic violence or sex) after 10 p.m.. But even the public stations always mutilate foreign television series and films by dubbing them. This is, alas, standard practice in Germany, where television broadcasters, film distributiors and the cinema industry have always eschewed subtitles and used dubbing instead. And even though our dubbing studios are probably the best in the world, a milieu drama like The Sopranos just does not work properly in German, since we have no uncultured and tasteless east-coast italo-mafiosi here (we have, of course, our own mafiosi...).

Personally, I do not own a TV and only watch films and series on DVD or the net. Accordingly, I will download "Game of Thrones" and buy the DVDs when they are released. It is a pity when your country's culture compels you to become a criminal, but whatever... ;)

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Russia.

With any luck, we could see first season of Game of Thrones over the one year after it end in USA, but I think it happens over the 2 or 3 years. So I (and probably all fans in Russia) will download episodes from the internet.

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Spain.

It depends on the TV channels. If they buy the series, then probably we´ll be able to see it less than a year later than USA. Of course, it will be in spanish, and depending of the channel interrupted by more than 5-8 commercial breaks, or paying for it. Many people prefers to download it directly of the Internet and see it in its original languaje, uninterrupted and more or less at the same time they´re seeing it in the USA :P

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I think the BBC will probably start the series a week or two after HBO does. That's what it does with Heroes anyway.

According to Wikipedia, HBO broadcast Rome in August, but the BBC waited till November to start it.

And with virtually no publicity, as we all remember......

I'm in Ireland by the way. The BBC floats over our heads for free, if you have the right TV aerial to pick it up. Which I do. Yay!

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Canada.

And it never even occurred to me that we might not get it. I did not know there was an HBO Canada and that it was different form regular HBO, I was planning on getting it but this has me worried now. :uhoh:

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iheartseverus, I appreciate your passion. But unfortunately, you are embarking on a lost cause. While having a pay video streaming or downloading site for all of HBO's shows that anyone can access around the world is a great idea in theory, there are a lot of legalities and complications involved.

First off is the topic of payment. How do you handle that? Most countries have their own currency which widely varies in value off the US dollar. So you have to figure out a way to price all those fairly and than figure out a way to let folks pay for these shows in their own countries currency.

Then you have to worry about contracts and licensing. Most of the networks in other countries that air HBO shows have signed contracts with HBO that give them access to these shows. Don't you think these nets would be pretty annoyed if HBO came out with a service that allowed people from their country to watch the shows online months or years before they are able to air them on TV? So HBO would need to figure out a way to somehow make these nets happy, maybe by some sort of profit sharing. Of course, that would require some rewrites to the original contract and more legal hoops to jump through. And how much of the profit for this site will you share with these nets? Would you need to track which of your viewers are coming from that certain country and give part of their money to the net? Alternately, they could wait until all these contracts are up, but that is probably years from now.

They'd also have to build quite a large database of servers that can handle thousands of people from all over the globe streaming high-def video around the clock. Trying to stream something from a server in Colorado to a PC in Greece is going to be difficult. The video would probably be choppy and slow. They would have to set up remote servers in Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. Then they'd have to staff and maintain all these locations. How much is that going to cost? What kind of subscription is going to be required of people to help defray all these costs? It may end up being more than just ordering HBO!

Of course, once they clear all those hurdles there will STILL be people that choose to pirate. Why? Maybe the quality is better. Maybe they want subtitles or dubbing. Maybe they really just don't feel like paying. Just because a few of the most hardcore fans on this forum say they would pay if they could, doesn't mean the majority of people would.

So yeah, maybe one day they will be able to set up something like this. As the internet grows and the world wide community comes together online more and more I think something like this is possible in the future. But not any time soon. Streaming video services are still in their infancy. It will take a while for networks to figure out the best way to utilize them. And even longer for them to figure out a way to make it work for a global audience.

In the meantime, HBO is making enough money off of their US network and the various contracts they sign with international broadcasters (not to mention their profits off of DVDs and iTunes). I don't think they are too concerned with a relatively few people pirating their shows.

EDIT: Sorry for such a long post. Just didn't want to see someone put a lot of time and energy into doing something that will all be for naught. The point is, I'm sure HBO realizes that lots of people in other countries pirate their shows. It is just that they aren't concerned about it because a) they are making enough money and b) there is nothing they can do about it.

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Thanks, Halfhand, for your thoughtful response. But all those questions and issues you raise are the same exact questions and issues that HBO and similar companies deal with (and resolve) in their daily course of business. It's part of their 'job description,' so to speak. How much to charge in differing currencies, what contracts and rights are involved for the various parties, who gets to share in the profits and by what percentage, etc, etc, etc. Its what business managers and corporate lawyers exist for. No doubt you're right that streaming quality programming worldwide is still in its infancy, but this is one 'infant' that can and should 'grow up' fast, IMHO.

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