In what is an extraordinary move for a broadcaster, the ABC has decided to air Doctor Who first on iView – its streaming catch-up TV service – just after the UK premiere. The broadcaster plans to air the first episode, Asylum of the Daleks, at 5am this Sunday, before its television broadcast the week later.
“For Doctor Who fans, it is a fantastic opportunity to see new episodes within hours of them premiering in the UK – each episode will be available on iview on Sundays,” Brendan Dahill, controller for ABC1, said in a media statement.
The ABC previously aired the first episode of Series 5 of Doctor Who on iView before broadcasting on television – but the entire series was, again, had a two weeks delay. It has, however, aired the recent Christmas specials within a day after the UK – but first on free-to-air then digital. But within the hour is pretty extraordinary.
The move probably will stop many Australians from rushing out and download the episodes from services such as BitTorrent. And hopefully many broadcasters take this route with international shows, air it first on digital and repeat on free-to-air so people can watch if they don’t have a better internet connection.