In 2012 we saw the ABC redefine the very meaning of the phrase “fast track” when it came to content, by bringing the new season of Doctor Who from the BBC in the UK to our shores within the space of an hour. Despite incredible feats like this, Foxtel — Australia’s premier pay TV network — still doesn’t seem to get it, forcing Aussies to wait seven days before being able to see the latest season of Top Gear UK.
Season 19 of Top Gear is set to air on BBC in the UK on 29 January (local time). Once the episode is finished, all you’ll have to do is wait two hours and then download it illegally from your favourite salubrious internet venue. One hour later and you will have had your fill of three blokes mucking about with cars, meaning that the whole affair will be complete within roughly three hours.
A whole 141 hours later on February 3, Foxtel catches up, airing the “fast-tracked” season premiere of Top Gear on BBC Knowledge, complete with ads slotted in at obnoxious junctures. (The BBC is like our ABC so its shows aren’t often shot with ad breaks in mind)
Come on, Foxtel.
I’m willing to concede that a likely reason for the delay is most likely because of where Foxtel wants Top Gear in the schedule. The show will air at 7:30pm AEDT on a Sunday, rather than mid-week where it’s likely to attract fewer viewers. But still, if Foxtel really want to claim to be “fast-tracking” the series for the hardcore fans, it could offer the episodes up early online or via the excellent Foxtel Go app for iPad (and soon everything else).
The ABC took that particular road with Doctor Who: leave the TV schedule intact but air the same episode via iView one week in advance, making Sunday mornings glorious. I’d love to sit down on a Sunday morning once again with tea and toast to watch great content legally, but instead I’ll have to wait while my friends, who prefer getting content illegally, spend 141 hours talking about the episode they just downloaded.
Get it together, Foxtel.