The Australian newspaper reports that Australia-based IPTV provider ReelTime Media is talking with at least two U.S. studios to forge a deal that would let Australian consumers download U.S. TV series 24 hours after they air in the U.S. The downloads would be offered within a 72-hour window.
No one is talking yet about what U.S. studios would be involved, but since ReelTime Media already has licensing deals with the TV units of Sony, 20th Century Fox (someone please tell ‘em this is the 21st Century) and NBC Universal, it is a fair bet that these two U.S. studios are within the ranks of the three studios just named.
As with so many of these deals, the risk of cannibalization cannot be discounted. Some U.S. TV series churned out by those units are already popular on standard Australian broadcast television. You can bet phalanxes of lawyers will hammer out any deal to be done.
It will also be interesting to see how ReelTime’s existing partnership with Yahoo plays out. Obviously there will be major online promotional heft available for the new initiative. Whether that gets expanded into distributional heft, we shall see.