Why Can't We Watch British TV Shows?

By
Advertisement
I know what you're probably thinking about that title - Matt, of COURSE you can watch British TV shows! There's Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, of course, and Gordon Ramsay and Ricky Gervais are on at least 15 shows each right now. 


AND there's the entire BBC America, and Wheeler Dealers on Velocity, and there's American versions of Top Gear, and British versions of Law & Order, and Premier League on Fox Soccer, and Six Nations Rugby.... what more can you want?

Well, that's not what I'm looking for - I want to be able to see British TV that's on RIGHT NOW. As in, last night. 

Mostly, topical comedy panel shows, like Sean Lock and Jon Richardson on "8 Out of 10 Cats". 
The last 6 or so episodes of "8 out of 10 Cats" are available for streaming (for free) on Channel 4's website. In fact, most everything on British TV is available as a live/on demand stream. But as an American, it appears I'm not allowed to watch those - they're for Brits and Irish only. 

It's not in the US iTunes Store. Channel 4 has an iPad app with on-demand content, but it's only available in the UK iTunes store.   

I suppose that there are some internet tricks I could pull to make the Channel 4 website think I'm in the UK, but I don't want to resort to that. Yet. What I'm looking for is a legit way to get "8 of of 10" on my primary television every week. 
This isn't the "I have to pirate 'Game of Thrones' because I don't want to pay for HBO!" argument. I'd happily pay some amount for "8 out of 10", or for Channel 4. After all, we pay for HBO, and that's basically ONLY for "Game of Thrones".  
"8 of out 10" is a topical comedy show - kind of like "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" (both of which are available and airing every day in the UK, BTW.) While reruns can be funny, you kind of need to see it in the week it airs. 

Basically, we have our "presenter", comedian Jimmy Carr, flanked by two "team captains" - comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson (both of whom are awesome - US comedy fans should seek them out.) Each week, the captains both have 2 British celebrities on their "team". 

The general idea of the show is that the teams are trying to guess the 5 biggest UK news stories of the week Family Feud-style. But no one pays attention to the "competition"... it's just a framework for the comedians riffing on the stories of the day. And when it works, it works incredibly well.

Still, it appears that the only possible way to see this show in the US is via torrents (or non-official YouTube channels). 

I'm not going to start torrenting stuff if I can avoid it, and the YouTube videos (which are awesome, pretty comprehensive, and high-quality) are presumably only going to be available until the content owners have them taken down on copyright claims.

It would be great if this show, and others like it (but mostly just this show) could be more widely available. 

0 comments :

Post a Comment