News in today that a Supreme Court judge has banned Underbelly from being shown on Victoria television. Sucks if you’re in Victoria, so being in Sydney, this isn’t a problem for me. But it’s an exact replica of the Blue Murder situation from 1995, where ongoing trials stopped the show from being aired in NSW for five years.
But one we have now (and didn’t have then) is the Internet. In the short term, it appears this Victorian decision has also seriously damaged Nine’s online promotion ambitions. All videos from their offical site have been removed — even the brief promos. I expect if this is really being enforced, then other clips from other sites will be removed as well.
Of course, this should also mean that Underbelly will be one of the most BitTorrented Australian shows ever. If you’ve ever looked for Australian show torrents, they’re usually light on the ground. But this one will definitely rocket up there — simple supply and demand. The people who can’t watch it (Victorians) will find a way, and that way will be BitTorrent (as many of them are used to for US shows now).
Ironically, this won’t be Nine’s fault, but they will still lose out on the audience. I can almost see the judge’s point, but I think it’s about time they gave up trying to enforce these draconiam bans — they just don’t work anymore in the Internet age.
(And yes, I really must get my Underbelly feature up tomorrow morning — damn image uploading!)