by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
culture, fox network, locking up, paywall, tv

Fox Decides To Drive Fans To Piracy, Rather Than Giving Legitimate Options

from the um,-that-doesn't-work dept

It appears that the Fox Network hasn't learned a damn thing from well over a decade of evidence concerning how you deal with people infringing your works. Rather than providing a legitimate and authorized option as part of a business model, Fox has decided to block or delay web access to many of its popular TV shows, trying to push people to watch them on TV. Now there will be some exceptions... for people who already pay a "participating video distributor." In other words, pay more for less.

The whole article linked above is ridiculous. Even the title is wrong. It says:
"Fox Network to limit Web access to its shows."
But that's wrong. People still will have plenty of access... just from unauthorized sources. Then there's this quote from Michael Hopkins, the president of affiliate sales and marketing for Fox Networks:
"We are continually looking at opportunities to provide our pay television distributors with content and products that enhance the value of pay television to subscribers,"
I'm somewhat surprised this even needs to be explained in this day and age, but taking away features and locking them up does not "enhance the value" to anyone. This is the sort of thing lots of companies stupidly do. Rather than actually increasing value, they take away value from one set of people, and pretend that means they've increased value for others. Except, it doesn't work that way. All it really does is piss off all the people you just took value away from.

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  1. identicon
    RexNexus, 27 Jul 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: I actually disagree this time

    Sorry to reply to my own comment but there are a ton of responses and I can't reply to them all.

    I accept that piracy is going to happen, even if Fox (or whomever else) runs all its content instantly On Demand after initial broadcast. Someone somewhere is not going to be able to access it and will pirate it. In this case, Fox is trying to build value for its subscribing services to give you a reason to buy Hulu+ or whatever. They may be failing to connect with fans but thier business objective is legitimate. Offering some product or service for free or at a discounted rate then raising the price is hardly new or unique to Murdoch's empire. I see this as a reasonable step in adapting thier business model. Maybe its not perfect but its something and something is better than nothing.

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