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Doctor Who Getting Early Online Debut in Australia, Thanks to iView

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Good news for online Australian sci-fi fans: The upcoming fifth season of British Doctor Who, which will premiere Sunday, April 18 on ABC1, will actually make its first Down Under appearance two days earlier on iView, the Australian Broadcasting Company’s iPlayer equivalent.

The one-day head start that online Aussie fans are getting probably won’t do much in the way of preventing piracy, as episodes will premiere in Australia two weeks after the UK (in the United States, BBC America will be on a similar schedule). It’s a much improved delay, though, from the past, when fans outside Britain would wait for months after the UK premiere for their fix — or learn how to use torrents.

But fighting piracy, or creating a buzz for the show, doesn’t seem to be the goal here: as opposed to Warner Bros and ITV’s decision to release episodes of The Vampire Diaries ahead of their British airing, it appears that the purpose of debuting Doctor Who online early is to get Australians using the free video service.

According to Kim Dalton, director of Television at the ABC, “iView is a fantastic offering, an additional way for Australian audiences to watch ABC TV’s content β€” generally after, but in this special case before, its television broadcast. We hope the lure of Doctor Who β€” and what a fun and exciting lure it is β€” will provide incentive for more viewers to discover iView, and experience how convenient and easy to use it is.”

iView first became available in July 2008, and is available on the PS3 (s SNE) through the Playstation Network. So, hey, f you’re reading this and you’re in Australia, we’d love to find out whether you’ve used the iView service, and what you think of it, in the comments!

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2 Responses to “Doctor Who Getting Early Online Debut in Australia, Thanks to iView”

  1. I used to live in Australia and really liked iView. The interface isn’t as good as hulu but content is great and no commercials. ABC Australia has a deal with some internet providers to not meter iView, which is great to not have streaming video count towards monthly download quota. I actually miss iView since it is blocked in America and some of the content isn’t easily available outside of Oz.

  2. To say iView is available on PSN is a little disingenuous: all it is is an icon on the XMB that takes you directly into the PS3 browser with iView loading.

    To answer your question though: it’s not bad. It’s not Hulu or TVShack, but it’s not bad. The Play TV PVR on sale for the PS3 here now is much better.