We've talked, at length about the ridiculousness of regional restrictions
when it comes to content on the internet. So, to some extent, it's nice to see that News Corp./Fox is actually more or less admitting that such restrictions are silly and has released a new TV show simultaneously around the globe
But this week, News Corporation is staging a worldwide premiere of “Touch,” a new drama starring Kiefer Sutherland that celebrates the very kind of interconnectivity that will allow the show to start almost simultaneously in 100 countries and territories. In the United States it will appear on the Fox network on Thursday night; in Canada, on Global Television; in Germany, on ProSieben; in Russia, on Channel One.
The worldwide rollout will allow American viewers to react to “Touch” in almost real time with viewers on other continents and in other languages, presuming, of course, that they are motivated enough to do so.
Of course, part of what made that happen was they were able to find a global advertiser (Unilever) to agree to put its ads everywhere. What's still amazing to me, however, is that in 2012 this is still considered a "big thing." This should have been done a decade ago, at least. Because while the networks are finally waking up to this, internet users
had routed around them ages ago anyway.
To Tim Kring, the show’s creator, the shift is stark. In spring 2007, six months after his show “Heroes” started in the United States, he watched hundreds of “Heroes” fans line up for an event in Paris, even though the show had yet to be seen on television in France.
“Every single person there had seen every episode. They had all gotten it illegally off the Internet,” he said in an interview. It was then, he said, that he realized, “Audiences will find these shows no matter where they are.”
And yet, here we are in 2012 and it's still "big news" that a show and TV network realize this. Progress certainly seems to come slowly to some industries...