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Battlestar Galactica Season 4 in Australia (Rather Late)

battlestar-galactica-season-4-7 So, Australia is finally getting Battlestar Galactica season four on television: TV Tonight reports that the season will kick off with the ‘Razor’ double ep-cum-telemovie on September 4th.  Given my interest in the tyranny of digital distance, I find it noteworthy that Razor will arrive eight and a half months after it was screened in the US (and will, in fact, be released on DVD in Australia just over a fortnight before it’s televised down under)!  Presuming that the entire season is played thereafter, the rest of  BSG season four will be five months behind the US.

Ten will be playing BSG exclusively on their High Definition channel (great for those who get it, no doubt infuriating for those who don’t) but, really, the audience they’ll pull will be infinitesimal compared to the eyes they’d get if BSG was concurrent with the US schedule.  Meanwhile, a few people might just have downloaded BSG via BitTorrent given the series is amongst the most downloaded TV shows of this year (and last).

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  1. It’s really quite strange that television stations outside of the US accept this slowness – I imagine part of it is they’re waiting to see whether a show will be successful or not before investing in it, but surely they see that the series’ pull is far less than if they were broadcast faster?

    Do you know whether tv stations are actually considering these issues? I wonder whether it’s the US producers who are slow to get things to their international market, or the international companies that are slow to buy? Perhaps they CAN’T buy sooner?

  2. Hey Jill!

    In Australia some US shows are ‘fast tracked’ now, like Heroes, which means they play either the same day or a couple of days after the US, so it’s certainly possible to arrange. I’m sure it costs a little more, so shows which can land in primetime – Heroes, Prison Break, Lost, etc – seem to be considered worth the effort while others, such as Battlestar, aren’t thought to be as big a drawcard for advertisers and thus get pushed later in the schedule. So, as you say, I imagine the decision to synchronise with US screening times is a strategic and financial one.

    One other factor used to matter, which is unlike US shows which might have two blocks of 13 episodes, sometimes with fortnight breaks therein, Australia shows used to always play full seasons week by week without a break (something that could only be managed if you started playing the first episode a lot later). That said, most shows now get stopped and started at odd times, so I doubt that matters as much today.

  3. BSG was never going to succeed on commercial TV in Australia – its only shown on cable in the US and they did this as they knew it wouldnt rate on free to air over there either.
    But it couldnt be shown within an acceptable time frame in Australia on cable due to the current laws – Channel 10 purchased the rights to the show, which means that cable was unable to show it – and if C10 decided to delay showing it for months then bad luck for us.
    The free to air stations purchase ‘packages’ of tv shows – meaning that they could pick up a certain amount of shows that they dont want and will never broadcast – but that also prevents cable from showing them.

  4. Channel 10 are crazy. BSG has been a great success in the UK and would be here too. We are so far behind the rest of the world it’s embarrassing and annoying.

    • True enough, Mark. The Australian version of the SciFi channel did catch up for the last 13 episodes, airing the same day, but it was so little so late!

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