View Full Version : UK - Channel 4 brings Lost to VOD

Apr 30, 2006, 08:01 PM
From Mad.co.uk (http://www.mad.co.uk/Main/News/Articles/4a4a2821bfea481796d84a65cf56e335/Channel-4-brings-Lost-to-VOD.html)

Channel 4 has reached a deal with Buena Vista International Television for the video-on-demand (VOD) rights to hit series Lost and Desperate Housewives.

The news comes shortly after Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan stated that establishing a full VOD service across multiple platforms will be a priority for the broadcaster in the coming year.

He made his comments yesterday (25 April) at Channel 4’s Annual Report presentation.

The deal gives the broadcaster exclusive UK VOD rights to the first two seasons of both Lost and Desperate Housewives. It is Buena Vista International Television’s first such agreement in Europe.

The pay per view VOD service launches tomorrow (27 April) when the entire series of Lost Season One will be available on-demand from Channel 4’s website and from ntl Telewest’s on-demand service.

It will cost 99 pence to purchase an episode for unlimited viewings over a 24 hour period.

Duncan said: “By partnering exclusively on the VOD rights to two of the biggest shows on TV, we will work together to reach and grow on-demand audiences.”

Season 2 of Lost begins on Channel 4 on 2 May and episodes will be available on VOD 14 days after their first UK broadcast and to promote the service for a two week period the first two episodes will be available for free. Desperate Housewives season two will be available from 4 May.

Duncan said yesterday that Channel 4 will be experimenting with a number of funding models for VOD including pay per view, subscription and advertising spots. The broadcaster is still to hammer out an agreement with independent producers on the exact nature of content licensing deals.

I've taken a look at this on my old Dell, seeing as you can only watch these episodes with Windows Media Player 10, and the quality is awful. It's far, far worse the iTunes quality, though it is widescreen, and only 99p per episode, surely half of what the pricing will be for when episodes come to the iTunes UK. Of course that 99p only gives you unlimited access to watch the episode whenever you want for 24 hours. The Season 2 episodes will be made available 2 weeks after they are aired in the UK.

All in all, a nice idea, but it's failed miserably. I don't know the details about the rights, whether it's Channel 4 thats stopping iTunes from selling Lost in the UK at the same time as US then sure that makes sense, but if it isn't, that means the UK can now easily get the rights. So basically, I want my iTunes TV shows in the UK!

Apr 30, 2006, 10:23 PM
and it won't work on the mac. I'm pretty disappointed as both the bbc and channel 4 have now waded into the world of downloadable content and apple have not only failed to secure some sort of itunes link, but they have also managed to be laregly incompatible with the chosen formats. Have to admit, i expected more of the beeb given their duty as a national broadcaster - they should at least have a streaming quicktime option as flip4mac doesn't tend to perform well in firefox.

Would love to have the beeb programs as video podcasts even if they found a way to turn them off after one week.