I am a great fan of the ‘Daily Show with John Stewart’ since university, and was fast becoming a fan of ‘The Colbert Report’. In the US these run side-by-side on Comedy Central, whereas they are split over different channels over here. No big problem, that’s fairly common. I used to be able to watch these shows via the web and Comedy Central’s site. All of a sudden, this has ceased to be the case. This message comes up now and The Colbert Report has a similar apology. ‘Not to worry, surely your UK Broadcaster will have it available!’ Well, yes, but if I want to enjoy my viewing of the Daily Show, I now have to pay 99p for the pleasure! Colbert doesn’t even appear to be available on the web! This brings me to the crux of the matter. 4oD is a crock. You should not have to pay to watch something you could watch on TV. This is the whole point of availability on the web. Comments have been left on message boards and seem to agree with the sentiment of this one:
“No way! DS/Colbert fans from across the pond have been cutoff from their weekly dose of entertaining news from the US. Oh well, guess Channel 4 were monitoring the UK traffic on this site and decided to be total jerks!”
I hope that by not allowing fans watch the show online, and catch up one’s we’ve missed, will backfire on C4. Why not switch to a model like BBC iPlayer, where the episodes are free for a time and rather than removing them, then start charging. Surely this makes more sense and will get people to not only visit you On Demand product, but actually use the bloody thing. How many people have noticed that the 4oD ad’s constantly neglect to mention the fact that their service costs you money? How many, like me, went only and downloaded the software, excited to catch up with a show we’d missed, only to find we would have to pay for the pleasure. C4 MUST rectify this, please don’t just become the money-grabbing whores on the other side, it doesn’t suite you.