STAR World, a prominent English language television channel in India owned by News Corp, has just announced a brand new programming segment. Interestingly, it is named after the country’s most popular torrent search engine, Torrentz. With ‘Torrentz’, which will air The Good Guys, The Walking Dead and Detroit 1-8-7, the TV-channel hopes to offer a convenient alternative to ever increasing BitTorrent use in India.
The Indian TV-channel STAR World has just purchased three hot new shows from Hollywood. Starting in two weeks, The Good Guys, The Walking Dead and Detroit 1-8-7 will be broadcasted during the weekend in a programming block that’s named after one of the largest BitTorrent search engines.
‘Torrentz’ airs on Saturdays and Sundays and will feature some of Hollywood’s hottest TV content. The name was specifically chosen to appeal to the pirating audience and represents an unusual move for a channel that’s owned by one of the largest media conglomerates – News Corp.
“‘Torrentz’ is a unique initiative by the channel to curb piracy and relieve viewers from the inconvenience of downloading from the internet. Downloading from the net apart from being piracy, is a time consuming process and frustrating for the viewers,” STAR world proudly announced in a press release.
“By making available some of its latest shows fresh from Hollywood, STAR World ‘Torrentz’ hopes that its viewers will enjoy the ‘Torrentz’ advantage and not waste their time and energy in the inconvenient process of internet download,” it added.
It is strange to say the least that STAR World adopted the Torrentz brand. Although some may find it more convenient to sit in front of the TV than to download a torrent, the channel has forgotten the main reason why people turn to BitTorrent – namely, availability.
All the shows that are announced to air on Torrentz are already widely available on Google and every other torrent search engine. So if the Indian viewers really like the new shows, some may be inclined to ‘preview’ the next episodes on BitTorrent instead of waiting a full week for the official airing.
STAR World, however, thinks that the unusual name and the great content will discourage pirates, something they’ve learned from viewer feedback.
“With the accelerated growth of the internet and the digital medium, the consumer is inevitably spoilt for choices. It is therefore imperative for us as broadcasters to satiate our viewers’ needs in order to discourage internet piracy. STAR World – ‘Torrentz’ was conceptualized through the process of constant engagement with our viewers and insights about their preferences.”
We hope the channel is right, but we highly doubt it. BitTorrent is booming in India. The number of broadband subscribers has doubled over the last two years and for many BitTorrent sites India has become the main traffic source, even beating the United States. If the TV-channel really wants to discourage piracy it might be a good idea to get the release window down significantly.