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Fight over TV retransmissions

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 06 Apr 2001 13:09

American National Association of Broadcasters is getting really nervous and has filed a motion to intervene in a Canadian copyright proceeding.
The cause of this trouble is a company called JumpTV which retransmits Canadian and specially American TV signals over the web. Question is now that is it legal to do that -- cable and satellite TV operators are allowed to do that as long as they pay the retransmission fees for the broadcasters.

Now, the argument NAB uses is that local broadcasters suffer from this practice. But nuh-uh.. That's not the problem -- I'm absolutely certain that the problem is in the fact that web is international.

The thing is that American TV producers make nice amount of money by selling the rights for broadcasting their TV series, etc in other countries. And in typical case, let's say here in the UK, TV shows are aired appx. 12 to 18 months later than in the U.S. And there are several TV shows that are never aired in the Europe.

And as it goes -- some say unfortunately -- most of the TV shows the world watches are American. And if you have a possibility to see new episodes of, let's say X-Files or Dark Angel, on very same day that they are broadcasted in the U.S. -- who the heck would want to watch those same shows maybe two years later? Maybe some. But it's still not the same -- and advertisers don't like to advertise on shows that are already familiar and don't have that "hype" on them anymore. And TV producers can't charge huge fees for selling the shows to the UK, Germany, Finland, etc...

A pre-hearing conference on the issue is expected to take place later this month in Canada.

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