Spielberg’s The River hits UK iTunes 24-hours after US TV debut, will it curb piracy of the show?

The River ABC PosterPiracy has been in the news a lot recently, thanks to extensive coverage of both the SOPA and PIPA bills, and the ongoing saga of Megaupload.com.

Neither unpopular bills or the closing down of services also used for legitimate means are the solution to the problem though, so what is? While a complete solution may not even exist, there are steps that can be taken to cut down on the effects of piracy, provided someone is willing to put in the work.

While many automatically think piracy means films, television shows are just as popular, especially those US series that take an age to make it out of the country. Take Dexter for example. Season six has finished its first run on Showtime, but isn’t expected to play until spring 2012 in the UK. With season five recently released there on DVD, not everyone will be willing to wait.

The River

Someone at ABC has been thinking though, as it has been announced that its new show The River will be making its UK debut just 24-hours after it plays in the USA. But instead of playing on network television, it will be available for download through iTunes.

The River, a creepy drama that sounds like the oft-banned 80s gorefest Cannibal Holocaust, hasn’t been picked up by a UK network, and given its high-profile team — Steven Spielberg and Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli are both involved — it would be a prime candidate for pirates.

Simultaneous release schedules are nothing new, but despite being championed by many as a way to decrease piracy, still aren’t widely employed. The last high profile TV show, also by ABC, that abandoned a staggered release was Lost, when its finale broadcast simultaneously around the world.

Pricing for The River is reasonable too, as iTunes will be charging £2.49/$2.99 for an HD episode and £12.99/$20.99 for an HD season pass. Considering a Blu-ray season of Dexter costs upwards of £30 on release, this is very competitive.

A Divided Industry

There are outspoken advocates and enemies of the simultaneous release. The chief operating officer of Paramount Studios considers the system a big problem, arguing that it only makes higher quality pirated versions available sooner, while film critic Mark Kermode says it offers people the film they want, in the format they want, when they want to watch it.

Apple has recently made a bold move to try and revolutionize the text book, so how about they use their considerable influence to push studios, networks and distributors to offer more of their products across more iTunes stores at the same time. After all, it would be of financial benefit to all concerned, and ultimately, isn’t that what the piracy argument boils down to?

The River premieres on ABC on February 7 and hits iTunes February 8.


Here are the best Black Friday deals for the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 8, and more

Black Friday is right around the corner and it's a great time to get your hands on an iPhone if you've been thinking of buying one. Thankfully, there are a ton of great iPhone deals for Black Friday, including discounts on the phones.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Cassian Andor series and 'Mandalorian' details expand Star Wars' future

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

Disney+ streaming service gets a new name, logo, and more confirmed content

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Product Review

Why get anything bigger? The new Mac Mini is all the desktop you need

Apple’s new Mac Mini doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, and it’s more expensive. Yet the changes under the hood make a case for its consideration as your new Mac. Can this entry-level machine hold its own?
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

Apple will fix these iPhone X, 13-inch MacBook Pro issues for free

Apple launched free repair programs for the iPhone X and 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar. Some iPhone X units are suffering from unresponsive touchscreens, while a specific batch of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is prone to drive failure.

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.