The other day, I clicked on a news site link to a clip from “The Daily Show” and received that ominous little window letting me know that I had to get that content from Canada’s Comedy Network, a broadcaster who has nothing to do with either the production or content of “The Daily Show” beyond kicking in a few bucks to own its distribution in Canada.
I typed in the long and complicated Comedy Network web address and then spent a few minutes navigating the site to find “The Daily Show”, hopefully linked to the correct episode, then scanned and searched again to get the desired sequence.
And at each step I was treated to the same ad repeated in its entirety before I could move on.
By the time I found what I was looking for, I’d seen more advertising than content and almost forgotten the context in which the original link had been placed.
Similarly, whenever I’m in the USA, I get blocked from watching Canadian shows I have already paid for through my contributions to cable fees and government funding.
And all of this is to protect Canadian broadcasters who spend the vast majority of their profits to restrict my access to a Canadian audience by filling up their channels and websites with content they buy from foreigners.
Meanwhile, there’s content that I have to compete with in the marketplace that is being produced by companies like Hulu (some of it even made here in Canada) that I can’t see in order to learn what’s drawing the attention of the audience I also have to serve.
One answer to Globe and Mail Critic John Doyle’s question of why there are no ground-breaking shows on Canadian TV is –- We’re flying blind! We can’t access what’s influencing and innovating long before it reaches the network level. And when we finally figure it out, Canadian broadcasters won’t want to take the risk because they’re flying blind too and can’t comprehend what wave we’re trying to catch.
I’ve had it. I’m done.
What follows is a link to an browser add-on that allows you to link directly to Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, CBS, FOX and the BBC and ITV iPlayers plus many more. And all with one click and every one in the unrestricted form enjoyed by those not Geo-blocked.
This is where the technology is, as of this morning.
And if the CRTC really wants to address that growing “problem”, they’re going to have to extend their reach to not just blocking Netflix and Hulu, but going after Firefox and Chrome and a bunch of other app developers as well.
Anybody want to go back to Internet Explorer as their only option for getting on the web?
The time is long past where our entertainment industry needs to be “supported” by requiring people to buy channels they don’t watch in order to receive the ones they want.
And its far past time that broadcasters and cableco’s are allowed to make Billions while those who create their license qualifying content subsist and those who consume it are milked for every possible dime.
Free yourself from Geo-Blocking.
And Enjoy Your Sunday.