LOST Media Mentions - DarkUFO

My favourite castaways are already back on US television, but Network Seven seems to have abandoned its plan of "fast-tracking" Lost.

The enigmatic Lost returned to US screens almost two weeks ago, yet in Australia the Seven Network is still spruiking it as "returning in February". So much for last season's efforts to screen each episode of Lost in Australia within a few days of it airing in the US.

Fast-tracking was clearly an attempt to win back viewers who illegally download DVD-quality episodes of Lost from the internet each week. Ironically, many of these people were probably driven to piracy after they missed an episode of their favourite show because the networks constantly screw around with their schedules.

The apparent failure of fast-tracking would support my theory that people don't download shows like Lost because they want to see it before it screens in Australia, they download them because they're sick of the contempt the networks show for their viewers.

Anyone with internet access can already download the first three episodes of the new series of Lost using BitTorrent. If you combine the uTorrent software with FeedMyTorrents.com, you can even set your computer to automatically download new episodes as they screen in the US. You don't need to be a nerd to figure this stuff out any more. The fact you can easily bypass any restrictions put in place by your Internet Service Provider makes a mockery of Senator Conroy's plans to filter out file-sharing.

The television piracy debate becomes more interesting this year because Australians finally have a legitimate alternative in the form of Apple's Australian iTunes Store. The iTunes Store starting selling television shows in June last year, conveniently waiting until just after all the big US series wound up for the year. Apple Australia has repeatedly assured me that shows such as Lost will be available for download within 24 hours of screening locally.

The ability to download Lost the day after it screens will be a big test for those BitTorrent users who claim they would happily pay for downloads if there was a legit alternative. Lost will sell for $2.99 an episode, although there might be the cheaper option of a Season Pass. You can bet the industry will be watching closely to see if viewers stick with the networks, embrace the iTunes model or continue to flock to BitTorrent.

The Oceanic Six may be about to find peace, but things certainly look grim for the television networks if they can't make peace with viewers.

Source: DigiHub

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