Following up on Wednesday’s announcement that Channel 9 are playing friendly with that crazy Internet thingy by letting people legally download the second season of Underbelly for free, comes the shock announcement that it’s actually successful. According to a press release, the Aussie crime drama has “smashed” NineMSN’s previous download record with over 6000 downloads in 60 hours. And considering the reports online that the NineMSN servers kept crapping out during downloads, that figure potentially could have been even higher.
Wow – who would have thought that offering content for free online would have been successful? Not only that, but the show smashed its competitors in its Monday night timeslot as well. It just goes to show that a multi-platform distribution of entertainment (and media, for that matter) is the only way to succeed in the digital age. Kudos, Channel 9. Now let’s just speed up the transition to digital, shall we?
Underbelly breaks online download record
Sydney, Australia, Thursday 12 February 2009: Underbelly, A Tale of Two Cities continues to smash records by being ninemsn’s most downloaded television program ever. Episodes one and two have been downloaded more than 6000 times in less than 60 hours of being available since the program went to air on Monday.
The official Underbelly, A Tale of Two Cities website ninemsn.com.au/underbelly launched this week, with each episode available exclusively for free and legal download through ninemsn’s Catch Up TV service after they air on Channel Nine.
Carolyn Managh, Marketing Director at ninemsn said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer people the option to download Underbelly A Tale of Two Cities, and the past few days have really shown the high demand for services like ninemsn’s Catch Up TV. The launch episode has been the most downloaded video in the short time since it has been available. We also anticipate that Underbelly, A Tale of Two Cities will break the record for the most downloaded program on ninemsn.”
ninemsn began using Hiro technology to offer free and legal downloads in its Catch Up TV service 12 months ago. Hiro technology allows people to download uninterrupted, complete episodes of popular programs and also allows them to be shared.
In 2008, Catch Up TV was the only place to watch McLeod’s Daughters for free after it was taken off air, while programs like Sea Patrol and Canal Road were made available on Catch Up TV before they were aired on television. Also available on ninemsn’s Catch Up TV is Underbelly, A Tale of Two Cities, Farmer Wants a Wife, Mad Men and Chandon Pictures. Ladette to Lady premieres next week on Channel Nine and will be available on ninemsn’s after it airs.