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October 16th, 2006

The Free Catch-Up Show Works

As Pingers can imagine, I watch a fair amount of television. The quality of the TV I watch has definitely improved thanks to TiVo, so I can weed out the crappy stuff. But a year ago Apple added TV shows to iTunes and this turned out to be a sly move.

While I can’t say I’ve downloaded much of anything I watched for free on TV, Apple has had promotions with free downloads of various shows. I learned about the enjoyable Psych this way, and even saw a decent episode of 30 Days, the Morgan “I’m Pretty Much A Dork With A Mustache” Sherlock vehicle. A few weeks ago I noticed a freebie for Battlestar Galactica called “The Story So Far”.

My memories of Battlestar Galactica of course are from the old, 70s show. Faint in other words. I’d heard good buzz about the new series but Comcast has this squirrelly deal where they moved Sci-Fi (the network it ordinarily airs on) up to Digital Cable which costs an extra $30 month over their Analog Cable. Jerks. So I don’t get Sci-Fi and wasn’t able to check out the show.

I then downloaded the freebie and it was really quite good: 45 minutes recapping the first couple of seasons, getting one caught up on the story and filling in a lot of the blanks. I was really impressed with it and – also surprisingly – found that USA Network shows the series as well, albeit at midnight on Sundays or some weird time slot.

I think the free catch-up show is a great, great idea. Networks have been airing these for a few years now, particularly for intense plot-driven dramas and mysteries. It’s only logical to offer a free download as well: it can get a person hooked on the show, which means more money for the show one way or another. Good stuff.

Posted in Technology

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