It Survives 24 hours
February 2, 2006 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Oh, the irony. This season of Survivor (premiering tonight!), CBS will offer $1.99 video downloads of each episode on its own site, bypassing middlemen such as iTunes and Google Video. The catch? Your download "survives" only 24 hours after you buy it. Remember how well DIVX did?
posted by mkultra (35 comments total)

 
I estimate 12 seconds till this is cracked.
posted by tiamat at 1:09 PM on February 2, 2006


Expiring downloads is a really bad idea that I fully expect to blow up in their stupid faces.

But I'm looking forward to the new season!
posted by fenriq at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2006


"Network executives cautioned that the experiment, allowing buyers to view episodes of "Survivor" for just 24 hours after buying them, did not rule out the possibility that CBS later could strike a deal with Apple, which sells popular shows such as ABC's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for $1.99 an episode."
posted by ericb at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2006


Sigh. How many repititions of this scenario do we have to see before content providers understand that the paid delivery mechanics can't under any circumstances be inferior to the free delivery mechanics?
posted by selfnoise at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2006


Well, it's not like anyone would want to archive episodes of survivor and rewatch them years down the road...is it?

Because that would just be weird.
posted by slatternus at 1:14 PM on February 2, 2006


slatternus, where have you been?
posted by NationalKato at 1:17 PM on February 2, 2006


Ewwww. DVD collectors sets of survivor? That's like owning the Lost in Space collector's edit... umm, never mind.
posted by slatternus at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2006


I think it's great that the TV networks are at least trying to do this. It's a shame they let a lawyer come to the meeting, but I'm sure they'll work out the wrinkle with the expiration some day when he's away sick.
posted by The Monkey at 1:22 PM on February 2, 2006


I guess it's true what they say about fools and their money.
posted by wakko at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2006


God, who would watch this shit twice anyway? I can sort of understand buying the DVDs to see the show once, but rewatching it? Gah!
posted by graventy at 1:51 PM on February 2, 2006


Seriously, the irony is that if CBS gets tons of downloads, they'll figure "The system works!" and not relax the 24-hour timebomb. If no one bothers to download the show, elements in management will go "See! This internet "down-loading" fad is just a bunch of hooey!" and they'll just go along their merry way.

The best idea would be to do what NBC (?) did with The Office. Allow free downloads, and THEN watch the broadcast numbers the following week. This sounds less like an experiment than a half-baked compromise to keep the legal department happy.
posted by slatternus at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2006


Is it ironic b/c the show is called Survivor, but the digital download doesn't survive?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2006


Heh. I suppose I should have read the title. *g*
posted by mrgrimm at 1:57 PM on February 2, 2006


Probably Windows Media Player only, too. DRM'd all to hell and back.

Whoever said it would take 12 seconds to crack was probably being conservative.
posted by drstein at 2:13 PM on February 2, 2006


I suspect this will never be cracked, or at least that whoever does crack it will be doing it for no real reason. After all, why bother when there will be plenty of well-seeded torrents?
posted by chrominance at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2006


I think the term "Profoundly Retarded" fits this idea nicely.
posted by JeffK at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2006


Hey, whatever happened to that Disney self-destructing DVD thing?
posted by davebush at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2006


"Network executives cautioned that the experiment, allowing buyers to view episodes of "Survivor" for just 24 hours after buying them, did not rule out the possibility that CBS later could strike a deal with Apple, which sells popular shows such as ABC's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for $1.99 an episode."

This virtually guarantees failure. Why would you pay 1.99 now, lose the episode, see it later on iTunes and buy it again? Just wait, let the experiment die, then buy it on iTunes when CBS comes around.

Really, I don't know why anyone would want to buy reality teevee anyway but for those who do.
posted by effwerd at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2006


“I think the term "Profoundly Retarded" fits this idea nicely.” -posted by JeffK

I disagree. Profoundly retarded folks can do socially constructive work. Some of the best workers I’ve known have had cognitive disabilities. I grant they often are doing menial jobs, but as an anecdotal f’rinstance the best bagger at my local supermarket has severe disabilities.

So, no, I don’t think the term fits. What I think you’re looking for is the term: willful stupidity.
(posted earlier on mefi, but I can’t remember when)

In essence: "A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses."
posted by Smedleyman at 2:29 PM on February 2, 2006


I stand corrected.
posted by JeffK at 2:34 PM on February 2, 2006


I would quite happily pay 1.99 for an episode of other shows right now even if it self-destructed after 24hrs.

obviously i ilke free-stuff too.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:35 PM on February 2, 2006


The crack is already out. It's called bittorrent. There is no practical (educational, maybe) reason to even bother trying to break this, since unencumbered versions are already broadcast across the nation, all you need to do is record it.
posted by odinsdream at 3:37 PM on February 2, 2006


"I stand corrected." -posted by JeffK

You were on the right track tho. The whole magnitude - the size of the void of thought. There you were dead on.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2006


This is all about the PR -- reading the story, it's almost impossible not to conclude that the entire purpose of this bogus and stuntlike "experiment" is to make an aging name/brand in reality TV seem fresh again. I don't actually expect that they thought they'd make a penny, but they (correctly) surmised that entertainment-press (and blog) attention is on anything related to iTunes, downloadable video, etc. It's the trail that everybody who covers entertainment media is following.

The whole non-story story is summed up in the subhead of the story ("bypassing Apple's iTunes service"), and the resulting article seems to have been spoonfed in a most unsubtle Hollywood press:


"It's been our strategy to exploit content across as many platforms as possible," Moonves said in a news release. "This is not only a boon to fans of the show, who can now watch it at their leisure, but it also represents a great way to generate traffic for CBS.com while opening a whole new revenue stream for CBS."


And the way the story wraps up underscores the PR effort of the whole thing -- the paper finds an industry expert to assert that all of this reminds us how important and vital the broadcast networks are. Yeah, I think they knew what they were doing.
posted by BT at 5:27 PM on February 2, 2006


The easiest way to do it is by just giving it a .doc extension.
posted by hoborg at 6:11 PM on February 2, 2006


BT -- spot on!
posted by ericb at 6:32 PM on February 2, 2006


I have a question to anyone that has bought a TV show off Itunes, or from CBS (I guess some people must have tested it in advance, surely) do they have ad breaks?

I mean, obviously Survivor is PACKED full of product placement everywhere they possibly can manage it, but is the content interrupted with normal commercial breaks, or does it play uninterrupted?
posted by The Monkey at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2006


buy one of these for 1.99 instead
posted by chuckforthought.com at 8:56 PM on February 2, 2006


As you would expect, the iTunes shows are trimmed of commercials. An hour show is only 42-43 minutes.

(Just like the pirated ones.)
posted by smackfu at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2006


smackfu, you don't need to tell me. My friend might buy the shows if Ihe could (but Apple hate democracyNew Zealand) but he can't. Let's just say that my friend tells me HDTV-LOL is his bestest friend.
posted by The Monkey at 9:08 PM on February 2, 2006


HDTV-LOL? What is this? A capture/encoding group?
posted by darkness at 12:15 AM on February 3, 2006


He guess so, but he have no idea, really. The quality is lovely, though. Or so he hear. I mean, I.

Oh shi...
posted by The Monkey at 3:02 AM on February 3, 2006


Go here.

Search for Survivor.

HDTV-LOL is your friend.

(But if you watch Survivor, I don't want to know you.)
posted by madman at 6:18 AM on February 3, 2006


It is very impressive how much effort these groups put into getting me my TV shows as soon as possible after they are broadcast. For free. Thank goodness for bored high school and college kids.
posted by smackfu at 6:29 AM on February 3, 2006


I would pay $1.99 for Survivor, if it were guaranteed that Survivor would expire 24 hours afterward.
posted by darksasami at 10:46 AM on February 3, 2006


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