CBC, Canada’s public television broadcaster has plans to release the upcoming TV-show “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister” for free via BitTorrent. This makes CBC the first North-American broadcaster to embrace the popular filesharing protocol.
According to an early report, high quality copies of the show will be published the day after it aired on TV, without any DRM restrictions.
CBC is not alone in this, European broadcasters, including the BBC, are currently working on a next generation BitTorrent client that will allow them to make their content available online. The benefit of BitTorrent is of course that it will reduce distribution costs.
The popularity of movies and TV-shows on BitTorrent hasn’t gone unnoticed. We reported earlier that some TV-studios allegedly use BitTorrent as a marketing tool, and others leaking unaired pilots intentionally.
It is safe to say that BitTorrent is slowly replacing Tivo. Approximately 50% of all BitTorrent downloads are TV-shows, and some episodes of popular shows such as “Lost”, “Prison Break” and “Heroes” get up to 10 million downloads per episode, spread over thousands of sites.
It is good to see that broadcasters slowly start to realize that they can benefit from sharing their content via BitTorrent. Last month Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) made the popular TV-show “Nordkalotten 365″ available in a DRM-less format. This experiment turned out to be a huge success, while the distribution costs were close to zero.